We've been promised portable fuel cells for years, but tech from SiGNa Chemistry might have a real shot at taking the concept mainstream. Instead of the more commonly used methanol, the outfit serves up a sodium silicide mix which it's begun licensing to companies bearing the "SiGNa fueled" logo. One example is PowerTrekk that first went on sale in Europe last December and is now making its way to the US this spring. The special salt concoction comes packaged into 5Wh hockey puck cartridges -- appropriately called Pukks -- to generate power and subsequently juice whatever device you plug into it over USB. It'll ship stateside in May for around $200, replete with an onboard 5Wh lithium-ion battery which acts as a rechargeable buffer, ensuring you'll still have some juice even after you run out of cartridges. Catch the power generating tech in a video after the break.
Hands-on with SiGNa Chemistry and PowerTrekkSee all photos
SiGNa also showed off the MP300, a boxy semi-portable mobile generator that uses the same scheme to produce emergency energy for relief workers. On the showroom floor, it was strapped onto an electric bike in place of its original battery. You can also catch it in the gallery above.
Joseph Volpe contributed to this report.