Can hydrogen charge your iPhone for a week?

August 25, 2015 //By Paul Buckley
British technology company Intelligent Energy claims to have developed the world's first hydrogen-powered fuel cell that is capable of charging an Apple iPhone for a week using a single cartridge.

The Loughborough-based company has created an iPhone 6 prototype that can run for a week without recharging by running off a built-in hydrogen fuel cell.

Intelligent Energy claims to have managed to incorporate the fuel cell system into the current iPhone 6 without any alteration to the size or shape of the mobile device. The handsets does feature small rear vents to allow water vapour to escape.  The fuel cell combines hydrogen and oxygen to create energy but also generates small amounts of water and heat as waste.

Intelligent Energy's miniaturised fuel cell has been designed to fit inside the existing iPhone 6 chassis alongside the battery.  The fuel cell's hydrogen gas is refuelled using an adapted headphone socket.

The company is planning to develop a disposable cartridge that would slot into the bottom of smartphones and contains a hydrogen-releasing powder that will power a smartphone for a week of normal use without recharging.

Intelligent Energy's hydrogen fuel cell expertise first caught public attention when the company equipped taxis for use during the London Olympics in 2012.

The fuel cell developer is planning to replace up to 26,000 internal combustion engines in India with its own hydrogen fuel cells in a project aimed at transoforming the sub-continent’s mobile infrastructure to adopt fuel cell technology.

The gradual rollout in India will should become the largest ever deployment of hydrogen fuel cells in the world.

Intelligent Energy claims to have built up a portfolio of about 2,000 patents and patents pending of the company's hydrogen fuel cell technology.

A Loughborough University spin-out company, Intelligent Energy, now employs 400.

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