Page last updated at 15:47 GMT, Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Research hope for new power cells

The technology could power mobile devices such as laptops

Scientists are attempting to master new technology to power cars, mobile phones and laptops.

Researchers at the University of Aberdeen have been given almost 300,000 to create cheaper and lower temperature fuel cells.

The cells convert fuel to electricity without the need for combustion, and could be introduced to the market in the near future.

They could replace combustion engines in cars, and mobile device batteries.

The university's chemistry department is trying to develop "carbon-tolerant" fuel cells.

Project leader Dr Angela Kruth said: "The aim is to create a new type of low-temperature fuel cell which is able to deal with carbon monoxide better than those about to enter the market - and as a result is cheaper and more efficient in producing electricity.

"Our research will develop ways in which the fuel cell can better cope with the carbon monoxide found in the fuel which it is converting into power."

Researchers have been awarded 288,000 of funding from Scottish Enterprise's Proof of Concept Programme for a two-year project to develop their idea of how the electrode can be modified to make it more efficient in dealing with carbon monoxide.

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