hybrid power comes to laptops

Here’s an item about a new kind of power for laptops that combines a traditional lithium-ion battery with a methanol fuel cell. It sounds really cool! Created by IBM and Sanyo, they claim it lasts as long as most high-end laptop batteries (8 hours) but the potential for more is great.

I’m wondering about the environmental implications of this technology? Does anyone know much about methane as a fuel source?

Will these new laptops be smelly? (just kidding)

3 Responses to “hybrid power comes to laptops”

  1. Hannah says:

    Hmmm…interesting. Can the battery be recharged? I bought a battery recharger and it
    didn’t work at all. I recharged a battery overnight and the next morning, the battery
    lasted 5 minutes 🙁 But going back to using methane as a fuel source, often we see
    waste sites that will collect the gas produced from waste and reuse it to heat buildings.
    It does have potential…

  2. pete says:

    Methane (CH4) is colourless and odourless. However, as a major component of natural gas, it is often mixed with other gasses that do smell, so it gets a bad rep. Pure methane in a fuel cell gives off CO2 and water vapour (which could threaten the electronics?). Recharging it should be as simple as injecting a fresh charge of methane. Since methane can be acquired from biogenic sources, there should be no net increase in greenhouse gasses using this technology. The good news (I hope) is that no heavy and toxic metals are needed, so disposing of worn out cells should not result in toxic waste.