A patent filing discovered by CultofMac reveals that’s first use for Liquidmetal could be for an internal component of a fuel cell.
Apple’s new patent describes “amorphous alloy” collector plates for fuel cells, an electrochemical battery that uses hydrogen to generate electricity. Although the patent doesn’t reference the Liquidmetal trademark, the material is an amorphous alloy or “metallic glass.”
The collector plate described in Apple’s patent acts as a catalyst for a chemical reaction that separates electrons from hydrogen to produce electricity. Its only byproducts are water and heat. As long as the cell is topped-up with fuel, it will continue to generate power. The process is clean, quiet and highly efficient — up to three times more efficient than burning fuel.
On August 5th, 2010 Apple entered into an agreement with Liquidmetal Technologies for an exclusive license to use its technologies in the consumer electronics field. It was naturally assumed that Apple would use the technology in the enclosure or antenna; however, this report suggests that perhaps Apple’s intent for the technology is more radical. CultofMac notes that a miniture fuel cell could power a mobile phone for more than 30 days and a notebook for 20 hours or more.