Place the hearing aid in a docking station. Wait 10 seconds while it fills 200 µl methanol and the hearing aid will have enough energy for 72 hours of use. Simultaneously, the inconvenient shift of zinc-batteries will become history and the environmental impact will be reduced to a minimum.
Højteknologi Fonden has just awarded DKK 15M for the project called MicroPowerDK submitted by Teknologisk Institut, DTU Nanotech, Kemisk Institut / iNANO Århus Universitet, and Widex A/S. During the next 3 years, the consortium will develop a ground-breaking Micro Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (µDMFC), which will be the size of a zinc battery.
The vision is to be the first in the world with a simple and user-friendly system with at least the same performance as a battery.
With 40 million users worldwide and a consumption of batteries around 4 billion a year, the market potential is obviously massive.
A big part of the development will take place in the cleanroom DTU Danchip in Lyngby, Denmark.
The micro fuel cell will be based on MEMS technology and Nano-based material technology will be used for manufacturing the membrane and the catalyst.