Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not an Insider? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

Sustainable Energy

Fuel Cells Clean Up

A manufacturer unveils the first fuel-cell-powered vacuum cleaner.

Vacuum maker Electrolux has recently partnered with New York’s Manhattan Scientifics and Lunar Design in San Francisco to develop the first fuel-cell-powered vacuum cleaner. It will use a hydrogen fuel-cell technology developed by Passau, Germany-based NovArs. The stacked cylindrical fuel cells-made of lightweight carbon-composite materials held together with sealants instead of bolts and screws-weigh in at only 780 grams each. The cells generate electricity using hydrogen, which passes through a membrane, giving up electrons in the process. The electrons create a charge as they move through a circuit. The fuel cells can power a 1,000-watt motor for several hours of continuous operation, something not possible with rechargeable lead-acid batteries. When the vacuum’s power is exhausted, its hydrogen tank can be replaced as easily as the propane bottle on a barbeque grill. Electrolux plans to begin selling the 4.5-kilogram vacuum cleaner in a backpack model next year.

More from Sustainable Energy

Can we sustainably provide food, water, and energy to a growing population during a climate crisis?

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Online Only.
  • Insider Online Only {! insider.prices.online !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Unlimited online access including articles and video, plus The Download with the top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox.

    See details+

    Unlimited online access including all articles, multimedia, and more

    The Download newsletter with top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox

/3
You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. This is your last free article this month. for unlimited online access. You've read all your free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for more, or for unlimited online access. for two more free articles, or for unlimited online access.