NEC recently showed a notebook PC powered by a fuel cell that can keep the machine running for a longer time than battery-driven models. We have been hearing of this same fuel cell technology for the last couple of years but apparently the technology is finally taking shape to make it to the mainstream.

The small fuel cell is powered by 300cc (half a pint) of methanol and uses a catalyst to break this down into oxygen and hydrogen and generates heat and power as a by- product.

The electronics giant suggested that first models using fuel cell will be available next year with an estimated running time of five hours, by 2006 the technology is expected to push that number up to 40 hours before a recharge is needed.