Video: Toshiba's Latest Fuel Cell Prototype Gadgets Charge in SecondsS

At Japan's CEATEC show, Toshiba and KDDI are demonstrating a modified Toshiba T002 phone that's powered by a direct-methanol fuel cell (DMFC) and Li-Ion battery. More advanced than previous prototypes, it runs for 320 hours on a squirt of methanol.

DMFCs produce electricity from a reaction of methanol, water, and air—the only by-products are a small amount of water vapor and carbon dioxide. Japanese wireless carrier, KDDI, has combined the fuel cell with a Lithium Ion battery to better handle the phone's spikes in power demand.

This combination gives the prototype phone about 320 hours of power. That's around 3 days longer than an equivalent handset. And instead of taking an hour or so to recharge, a few squirts of methanol only takes seconds. Right now the prototype is thicker than we demand of today's phones, but the two companies hope the technology will eventually make it into portable gadgets like phones and media players.

Of course, Toshiba promised to start selling a DMFC battery charger by September, and there's still no sign of it. Good to see they're making inroads, though. It's pretty interesting tech. [PC World and DVICE]