It's been years in the hyping, but Toshiba's long awaited direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) for gadgets could be arriving shortly.

Network World is reporting that the company's new chairman is promising to launch an external fuel cell charger before the end of September.

The universal charger will be able to recharge a range of devices, including media players, mobile phones and handheld gamers.

Hard cell

This charger was initially planned to launch in March this year, and no reason for the delayed launch has been given. DFMC fuel cells use the reaction between alcohol, water and air to generate electricity with few emissions (just water and carbon dioxide).

Network World reports that the portable charger will be followed by dedicated fuel cells for phones and laptops, with Toshiba predicting fuel cell sales of up to £1 billion in six years' time.

However, the Toshiba charger will be far from the first fuel cell device on the market. Medis Technologies is already selling a range of charger and emergency power kits using direct liquid fuel cell (DLFC) technology based on liquid borohydrid.

Via Network World.