Motorola Creates Methane-Powered Cell Phones

Motorola has announced that by 2010, wireless phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and laptops could run on methane gas-powered batteries, replacing the nickel cadmium batteries that power most electronic devices today.

Motorola researchers announced Tuesday that they have demonstrated that a methane gas-powered fuel cell can provide enough power between chargings for one month of wireless phone calls.

Inside the fuel cell, methane is stored in a ballpoint pen ink holder-sized area. A chemical reaction releases oxygen, heat and electricity. The electricity then powers the phone directly or charges another battery that then can power the phone.

Methane gas, which comes from renewable resources such as decomposing garbage at landfills, can be compressed from a gas into a liquid to create a fuel source.

Motorola has not yet determined a wide-scale sale date for the batteries. But most analysts agree that preparing the fuel cells for mass production could take anywhere from two to four years.