Dr. Jim Dye at Michigan State University has discovered a new way to power up laptops and cell phones - our good friend hydrogen gas.
While other companies and chemists are tackling the problem of getting hydrogen reliably into cars, Dr. Jim Dye has taken his 60 year long career in chemistry and not only helped create a great teaching program and the forward-thinking company SiGNa but has now developed a new way to charge up cellphones and laptops using sodium silicides and water to produce hydrogen gas on demand, and resulting in only sodium silicate - found in toothpaste - as a byproduct.
SiGNa then went ahead and paired Dye's hydrogen-emitted silica solids with a low cost fuel cell to convert this gas to electric energy. The result? A small, reliable way to charge electronic devices that is not only safe to use but produces only water vapor as a byproduct.
The company hopes to mass-market its new product as a viable way to get electric power to third world countries, many of which are in a position where even simple things such as household electricity are considered a luxury. Dye's new fuel cell and charging method will hopefully help to allow greater penetration of electronic devices in remote areas and promote worldwide communication.
For Dye, it's all about the chemistry, something he's been doing for over six decades. We're looking forward to what seven decades will turn up for this clever fellow.