LG Chem Ltd. has completed its development of portable methanol fuel cells and plans to commercialize the product within this year.
The durability of LG Chem’s fuel cells lasts for more than 4,000 hours, which is 8 times longer than current products.
LG Chem’s portable fuel cells are a micro miniaturized product, which is less than 1 liter in the core volume and weighs less than 1 kg. It’s easy to carry and can be used to power laptops and other electronic equipment through long periods of time by exchanging cartridges that contain methanol fuel. 1 fuel cell cartridge (200 cc capacity) can power a 25W laptop for more than 10 hours.
LG Chem’s newly developed fuel cell system produces 25W of power, which is the world’s largest power output among its kind. Power hungry devices such as Portable Multimedia Player, Digital Multimedia Broadcasting, phones and laptops can be powered by using a USB port. As the power demand for electronic devices such as laptops and cell phones increases, LG Chem plans to develop various fuel cells which can generate power ranging from 5W to 50W. The company expects to apply the 50W fuel cell to high performance laptops and electronic components.
Fuel cell is a mechanism which transforms chemical energy into electric energy. A portable fuel cell can be largely classified into methanol fuel cell and a hydrogen macromolecule fuel cell that requires a miniature reformer. Methanol fuel cells generate electric power by mixing methanol with air (oxygen); therefore, it does not require a macro reformer. Methanol fuel cells are less dangerous than hydrogen macromolecule fuel cells as it generates power under 100Â°C. Fuel cells can continuously produce electricity under the condition that fuel is constantly supplied. Methanol fuel cells contain 4,759 Wh/L of energy density, which is much higher than the energy density of rechargeable batteries (450 Wh/L).