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Toshiba's Dynario Fuel-Cell for Portable Electronics Will Change the Way You Charge Your Phone


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by Bart Salisbury

Toshiba has introduced the Dynario, a Direct Methanol Fuel-Cell (DMFC) charger for portable electronics. The palm-sized Dynario consists of the charging unit and methanol fuel, which mixes with ambient oxygen to produce a charge sufficient to power up a mobile phone or a digital-media player via a USB cable. With methanol fuel sold separately, the Dynario is reusable.

For the technically inclined, a DMFC is a type of proton-exchange fuel cell. Methanol is the chosen fuel because it is energy-dense yet reasonably stable.

Proton-exchange fuel cells are not particularly efficient, which limits there application to portable applications where energy density is more important.

The Dynario will only be available in Japan, and only in limited quantities. Toshiba will produce 3,000 units, then sit back and gauge consumer reaction before deciding to make more.

The Dynario goes on sale October 29, and will set you back ¥29,800 (roughly $324) for the device itself, and another ¥3,150 (a bit more than $34) for a set of five fuel cartridges.

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