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Apple May Make Fuel Cells Go Mainstream

Even with Steven Jobs’ recent passing and all of the legacies he’s left behind including computers, iPods, iPhones and iPads there is also another legacy he may be leaving behind now, posthumously as we speak. And that legacy is the mainstreaming of hydrogen fuel cells.

Usually I talk about hydrogen cars and vehicles in this blog and occasionally I talk about fuel cells for small electronic devices. And the invention of the hydrogen fuel cell for small electronic devices has already happened. They are in use now. But what Apple could do is spread small fuel cells everywhere in the world.

Let me explain. Apple computers has recently filed a couple of patents with the U. S. Patent and Trademark office for the development of small hydrogen fuel cells to power electronic devices. According to title="Apple Insider" href="http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/11/10/20/apple_exploring_lighter_more_efficient_hydrogen_fuel_cells.html" target="_blank">Apple Insider, “The first application, entitled ‘Parallel Fuel Stack Architecture,’ describes how Apple could arrange a set of fuel cells into a fuel stack. In the second filing, named ‘Reduced-Weight Fuel Cell Plate,’ Apple describes how it could use lightweight electrically conductive and corrosion-resistant material to build a fuel cell.”

Fuel cells are already in the marketplace helping to charge Apple products. There is a product called the Casemate Fuel Cell Battery Backup which says it can extend the life of an iPhone battery by up to 100 hours. This device costs between $20 – $30.

But even though fuel cells are in the marketplace they have not gained market acceptance nearly as much as traditional batteries have. What Apple could do with the power of their innovation, marketing and reputation is bring hydrogen fuel cells for small electronic devices to a whole new level of consumer acceptance.

And, once the consumer accepts a fuel cell as a viable replacement for a battery for small devices it will be less of a leap for consumers to accept fuel cells in larger devices such as vehicles, home refueling stations, and home heating and cooling units.

So, even though Steven Jobs is no longer with us, his saga and influence continues. And in this way, he is still with us.

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