At the beginning of the year, Apple has been granted a patent over the use of Liquidmetal to be used as the internal component of a fuel cell, more specifically to the “amorphous alloy” collector plates for fuel cells.
It is believed that such fuel cells could power a mobile phone using only cheap fuel for at least 30 days, needing only regular topups and giving out oonly water and heat as a result.
LiquidMetal, the generic name for the product commonly known as the “metallic glass”, has been discovered by researchers at the California Institute of Technology and is currently handled by Liquidmetal Technologies. Apple signed an exclusive agreement with the company in 2010 to use the product, which looks eerily like the liquid mercury cyborg in Terminator 2, but until now the company had not disclosed where it intended to use the metal alloy.
The material is extremely light, scratch-proof and very strong and could have some very promising uses in spatial applications according to the NASA. It is also considered as being very environmentally friendly, something that Apple is keen on.
One of the uses put forward for Liquid Metal is in batteries and because of their physical and electrical properties, they can be moulded into extremely thin shapes, are very durable and resistant to the chemicals found in cells.
CultofMac, who unearthed the license, adds that rumours about Apple working on fuel cells go back to 2003.