Manhattan Scientifics Announces Major Fuel Cell Research Breakthrough

February 02, 2000 by Jeff Shepard

Manhattan Scientifics Inc. (New York) announced what it claims is a major research breakthrough, a micro fuel cell test device that achieved a specific energy output three times greater than standard lithium-ion batteries currently used for cellular telephones. Manhattan Scientifics' researchers believe their achievement of three times the energy output of lithium-ion batteries is a step toward an incremental increase in energy output.

The test cell, developed at the company's Los Alamos, NM, research center, was powered by methanol and water. It achieved a specific energy of 300Wh/kg of fuel. Methanol-powered micro fuel cells have the ultimate potential to deliver 30 times the energy of today's lithium-ion batteries.

According to Robert Hockaday, Manhattan Scientifics' chief fuel cell scientist, his research team recently incorporated a new efficiency innovation that provides more useful energy than the team was able to produce in previous test cells.

"Recently we have been focusing our efforts on new ways of improving fuel and energy efficiency," Hockaday said. "These latest results were stunning and, based on what we've seen with these test cells, I would consider these latest refinements to be one of the breakthroughs we have been seeking. The next step for the research team is to incorporate the new test cells into a working prototype cellular phone."

"This breakthrough moves us significantly closer to a commercial device," said Marvin Maslow, CEO of Manhattan Scientifics. "Once we select the right manufacturing and marketing partner, we could conceivably see micro fuel cells for cellular telephones and other portable electronic devices in the market sometime in the year 2001. With the combination of our NovArs scientific team in Germany developing higher output fuel cells, and the Hockaday engineering group in Los Alamos, we are confident that Manhattan Scientifics will retain its two niche positions in the forefront of the emerging fuel cell industry."