Building a Better Battery
By Michael V. Copeland

(Business 2.0) – Three years ago a scientist named Flaming Zhou built a new fuel-cell prototype in his garage. This month, with $500,000 in funding from German industrial giant Siemens, Zhou will unveil the technology and a new company called H2Volt. The Berkeley startup wants to commercialize what Zhou claims is the first "dry" fuel cell. It uses chemical hydrides that won't leak over time like liquid methanol and hydrogen gas do, so H2Volt's technology has a much longer shelf life. The H2Volt fuel cell could be used in everything from MP3 players to stoplights; Siemens wants to eventually try it in tiny wireless sensors. With the mobile fuel-cell market expected to be worth $1.6 billion by 2010, Zhou says the next step is zeroing in on one niche.