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Motorola claims alcoholic PC breakthrough

Battery needs a pint after a hard day's night

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A fuel cell technology developed by Motorola is to use alcohol to deliver longer life for mobiles and notebook PCs. And the so-called "fuel cell technology" uses alcohol and requires refills when the battery goes flat. That means that at the end of a long day, just like your common or garden Register staffer, your laptop will need a swift half before carrying on with its daily tasks. The technical challenges involved mean costs are currently high, so it could be three to five years before we see the battery technology, which, Motorola claims, powers a mobile phone for a month or a laptop for a day in the shops. Motorola, working with researchers at the Los Alamos Laboratory said the battery works by converting chemical energy from methanol and ethanol over a platinum catalyst. The chemical reaction creates water vapour which means your laptop or phone may start steaming. Just like your regular Register staffer might. Director of Motorola's Material, Device and Energy Research Bill Ooms told The Times: "Manufacturers are constantly developing new features for portable electronic devices that require more power and longer operating life." Whilst new chip designs reduce power consumption of portable devices Motorola believe this new technology will speed up developments in cheaper gadgets. ®

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