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A. Researchers Working to Build a Better Battery

Narrator: This is Science Today. New electronic devices like PDA cell phones hit the market every day, but are the batteries that power such technologies improving? Researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have created a new rechargeable battery that could replace traditional batteries. Lab researcher Jeff Morse says the technology uses a process similar to the one used in making computer chips and the hydrocarbon fuel is like the butane found in Bic lighters.

Morse: So essentially the fuel cell incorporates miniaturized, micro-fabricated processes, similar to microcircuit technologies, and it allows us to use a concentrated liquid hydrocarbon fuel.

Narrator: This fuel cell technology lasts 2 to 3 times longer than existing batteries, and recharging will involve putting in a new cartridge.

Morse: So to the average consumer for a cell phone, they're going to be recharging their battery with an instantaneous recharge of a little fuel cartridge maybe every two weeks whereas now they do that maybe every four days or so.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.