The portable electronics industry is also exploring miniature fuel cells as a more powerful, longer lasting replacement for batteries. Intel, for example, has funded a start-up company called PolyFuel to develop such a fuel cell for laptops.
Solid-oxide fuel cells are one of six types being developed today. Each depends on a different chemical trick to combine the hydrogen fuel with oxygen to produce power. The automotive industry is looking primarily at proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells to power tomorrow's cars, motorcycles and trucks, but some companies are also considering the advantages of the solid-oxide variety.