Taiwanese researchers said Friday they have developed hydrogen-powered mobile phone chargers, in a development that could boost the island's efforts to become a player in green technologies.
The device can recharge a mobile phone battery in two hours without being plugged, according to scientists at the Industrial Technology Research Institute in north Taiwan's Hsinchu city.
"Hydrogen is a recyclable material. The device is energy-efficient and will help protect the environment," said Tsau Fanghei, a researcher at the institute.
"We will continue to improve the invention. We hope the hydrogen-powered device can replace current cell phone recharge systems in 2012."
Ma Hwong-wen, an environmental scientist at the National Taiwan University, said the invention appeared to be breaking new ground.
"It is new," Ma said. "Hydrogen, in theory, will produce no hazard to the environment."
The charger will be key to the Taiwan government's endeavour of carving out a space for itself in future energy generation, according to Yeh Hui-ching, director of the economics ministry's Bureau of Energy.
"The government hopes to acquire a slot in the global green energy industry's production chain with the hydrogen fuel cell technologies," Yeh said, according to Taiwan's Central News Agency.
Taiwan is under pressure to develop new energy sources, as it imports about 98 percent of its energy.
(c) 2009 AFP
Explore further: Researchers achieve 'holy grail' of battery design: A stable lithium anode