Electricity in the compact and portable fuel cell is generated by producing hydrogen through a chemical reaction that involves calcium hydride sheets and water. The fuel cell generates approximately 4.5 liters of hydrogen from the calcium hydride sheet that is less than 3cc in volume thus providing 5Whr of electricity. Any smartphone can be charged in around two hours using the fuel cell.

ROHM said that the new fuel cell generates power using a process called ‘hydro-synthesis’ using a solid that creates hydrogen by adding water. Calcium hydride sheets have been made using proprietary technologies. The company said that the fuel cell can be operated in ambient temperatures making it suitable for day to day use with smartphones, tablets, other portable devices. The fuel cell doesn’t create any harmful byproducts and as such can be disposed of as general waste. 

These fuel cells are better off compared to Lithium ion batteries as the sheets can last for twenty years if laminated and sealed as compared to four to five years of their lithium ion counterparts.

The group has successfully come up with (1) The cover type and card case type fuel cells capable of generating 5Wh for smartphones, (2) A portable power generator with 200Wh output and (3) A 400Wh output fuel cell for seismometers, developed in collaboration with Kinkei System.