Apple Is Granted Its First Liquidmetal Patent
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.”
Apple has been granted its first patent related to Liquidmetal, a space-age metal alloy. But the patent isn’t for a new iPad enclosure or iPhone antenna, as experts have predicted. Instead Apple’s Liquidmetal patent is for an internal component of a fuel cell.
Fuel cells are a hot technology in Silicon Valley right now. The technology promises to be cheap, efficient and environmentally friendly.
Miniature fuel cells could power mobile phones for more than 30 days without recharging and notebooks for 20 hours or more.
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.