Sony has developed a fuel cell capable of generating 100 milliwatt-hours of power per sq. centimeter at room temperature, the highest generation efficiency ever achieved by a "direct methanol-type" device.
The firm attained this level of efficiency, about 60% higher than that possible using conventional technologies, by reducing the amount of power generation loss caused when methanol oozes out of the fuel cell into the atmosphere, company sources said.
The reduction was achieved by increasing the ability of the cell's electrolytic membrane to block the methanol to a level two to five times higher than other technologies.
In making the membrane, Sony used molecules called fullerenes.