Sharp teams with Nanosys on fuel cells

Companies will work on energy-producing devices that potentially could run MP3 players, cell phones or even TVs.

Michael Kanellos Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Michael Kanellos is editor at large at CNET News.com, where he covers hardware, research and development, start-ups and the tech industry overseas.
Michael Kanellos

Japanese electronics conglomerate Sharp has inked a deal with nanotechnology specialist Nanosys to develop fuel cells for portable electronic devices. Fuel cells that can run MP3 players, cell phones or even TVs on small amounts of methane are expected to hit the market in the next few years, despite hitches that have already caused delays. Toshiba and NEC have already shown off prototypes.

The key feature in these fuel cells is a porous membrane that will create a reaction between methanol and water to release electrons but also keep the methanol from escaping. Nanosys, which had to scratch an initial public offering last year, specializes in developing novel materials.