Several companies are utilizing nanostructure technology to help develop high performance fuel cells for use in automobiles, portable consumer electronics such as laptop computers, cell phones, and digital cameras. A fuel cell is an energy conversion device and alternative to batteries that converts energy from a chemical reaction into electricity and heat. Fuel cells combine fuels such as hydrogen or methanol along with air and water to produce electrical power. Because their by-products are heat and water, fuel cells are environmentally friendly. See Chapter 8 for more information about fuel cells.
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