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Rohm 5Wh hydrogen fuel cells power up smartphones, ready for the trash after one charge

Sarah Silbert
10.02.12
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Rohm's hydrogen fuel cells are meant to power smartphones and other mobile devices, but unlike other juicing-up solutions, the cells are only good for one charge. Rohm says disposable fuel cells can be made smaller and lighter than their multi-use counterparts, and as the only byproduct is hydrogen, the company is touting the cells' eco-friendliness. The system generates electricity by using hydrogen that's created by the reaction of a metal material and water. While the device we saw here at CEATEC is a prototype, Rohm may offer its recharging system as both a smartphone case and a USB-attachable juicepack. Each offers 5Wh and can fully charge a handset once. There's also a 200W power generator, which certainly stretches the meaning of portable but can keep a laptop, LCD TV and a peripheral or two going for three to four hours. Rohm says its fuel cells will see a commercial release some time in 2013; for now you can get a sneak peek in our hands-on gallery below.

Gallery: Rohm Hydrogen Fuel Cells hands-on | 11 Photos

Zach Honig contributed to this report.

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