updated 10:20 am EDT, Thu October 22, 2009
Toshiba Dynaro charges devices using methanol
Toshiba on Thursday introduced the first portable fuel cell meant to recharge portable electronics devices using methanol. The Dynaro Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC) allows users to recharge nearly any portable device, and uses ambient oxygen and the methanol from cartridges to produce electricity from a chemical reaction between the two. The generated electricity then travels to connected devices through a USB cable.
Toshiba claims one methanol fill can create enough electricity in 20 seconds to fully recharge two typical cell phones. An integrated lithium-ion battery stores the electricity until it's needed. Toshiba will gauge the success of this product to decide whether or not to continue development on the technology and bring more fuel cell devices to market.
The Dynaro will be made in limited numbers, at 3,000, and cost the equivalent of $326 in Japan. Each fuel cartridge costs $35. Shipping starts on October 29th but hasn't yet included any international plans. [via Akihabara]