Fuel Cell Startup Raises $18.4 Million

SRI International spinout PolyFuel, a developer of membrane technology for portable fuel cells, has closed a third round of funding totaling $18.4 million, bringing total investment in the five-year-old startup to about $40 million.

Portable fuel cells are considered a likely candidate to become the next power source for mobile devices such as cellphones and PDAs. They depend on a sophisticated membrane that permits methanol to interact with water and air to produce electricity.

The PolyFuel membrane is already being used in pilot fuel cell development projects at OEMs and fuel cell manufacturers around the world. The company said nearly every serious player in the portable fuel cell market is evaluating its membrane for use in their fuel cells.

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