Shrinking Fuel Cells Promise Power in Your Pocket

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Science  17 May 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5571, pp. 1222-1224
DOI: 10.1126/science.296.5571.1222

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The future of consumer electronics hinges on finding compact, long-lasting sources of power. As devices become ever smaller and more ravenous for electricity, they have already outstripped technology's ability to keep pace. The first story in this special Focus package explores micro fuel cells, small devices that convert chemical fuels such as hydrogen or methanol directly into electrical power. Micro fuel cells stack up well against batteries on paper, but they still face engineering, financial, and even political hurdles. The second story discusses how makers of conventional batteries might adapt their products to compete in the power struggle.