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Mechanical Technology Inc. (MKTY) Achieves Breakthrough in Micro Fuel Cell Testing

MTI MicroFuel Cells Inc. just announced a major milestone in the development of its Mobion® cell phone fuel system. The company has been working toward creating an alternative to lithium ion cell phone batteries, and according to recent tests, it has just moved one step closer to that goal.

Mobion® technology powers cell phones using direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs). MTI was pleased to announce that it has achieved the amazing feat of operating a Mobion® laboratory cell continuously, over a period of 2,700 hours. To put that number into perspective, a cell phone user consuming three thousand minutes per month over the course of a two-year contract would use only 1,200 hours, or less than half the efficiency achieved by the Mobion ® laboratory cell in trials.

Advancements were noted concerning the Mobion® system’s resistance to the common problem of power degradation in DMFCs as well. According to an industry report published in the Journal of Power Sources, many DMFCs begin to show astonishingly high rates of degradation (up to 35 percent) after as few as 360 hours of continuous operation. The Mobion® test revealed less than fifteen percent power degradation, effectively showing MTI’s product to be twice as efficient as existing systems.

Jim Prueitt, vice president of engineering at MTI, commented on the testing: “Our test results are a clear indication of the technical progress we have made on performance metrics including life, degradation, temperature, and humidity levels which are required to bring products to market in the consumer electronics industry. To our knowledge, there are no other published results that match ours.”

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