A student from the University of Southampton believes he has found a new way to provide power to remote sensors, mobile phones and laptops.
Microfluidic fuel cells can utilise the chemical bond energy stores in fuels such as methanol, according to electronic engineering student Daniel Spencer.
"Currently, since energy harvesting cannot provide the necessary energy continuously, energy must be stored," he commented.
Mr Spencer continued: "As portable devices become more powerful, higher capacity energy storage solutions are required."
His research has revealed that there is great scope for further investigation into the integration of fuel cells into a complete system and he plans to use his PhD to develop his ideas further.
Sharp Corporation is reportedly deploying a direct methanol fuel cell system, although when it will be completed is unknown.
Professor John Shepherd of the University of Southampton recently led a report calling for a major overhaul of the UK's energy policy.