Toshiba Unveils External Direct Methanol Fuel Source for Mobile Electronic Devices

Oct 23, 2009
Nikkei Electronics Asia
[Click to enlarge image]
Dynario, Toshiba's first DMFC product
Dynario, Toshiba's first DMFC product
[Click to enlarge image]

Toshiba Corp has launched the company's first direct methanol fuel-cell (DMFC) product, the Dynario, as an external power source that delivers power to mobile digital consumer products.

Dynario's DMFC delivers almost instant refueling that untethers electrical equipment from AC adapters and power outlets. It runs on a mix of methanol and ambient oxygen, and the chemical reaction between the two in the fuel cell produces electricity.

Once fueled with an injection of methanol solution from its dedicated cartridge, Dynario starts to generate electricity that is delivered to a digital consumer product (i.e. a mobile phone or a digital media player) via a USB cable. On a single refill of methanol which can be made in an instant period (around 20 seconds), Dynario can generate enough power to charge two typical mobile phones.

Dynario integrates the company's fuel cell technology, allowing it to operate with only a small volume of concentrated methanol solution, reducing the size and weight of the fuel tank and the overall product. An ingenious fuel feed structure realizes uniform methanol delivery, and stable output to any attached device is fine-tuned by a built-in microcomputer. Performance is also optimized by Dynario's hybrid structure, which uses a lithium-ion battery charged by the fuel cell to store electricity. The dedicated fuel cartridge was co-developed with Toyo Seikan Kaisha Ltd, one of Japan's packaging container companies.

Toshiba said the Dynario and its fuel cartridge fully comply with the International Electrotechnical Commission's safety standards (provisional edition).

Dynario, together with a dedicated fuel cartridge for refueling on the go, will be launched in Japan, in a limited edition of 3,000 units.