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back to article Boffins' breakthrough boosts fuel cell output by 50%

Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have come up with a way to improve the power output of fuel cells by more than 50 per cent: a better membrane. The material was developed specifically for direct methanol fuell cells (DMFCs) and sits between the cell's two electrodes. It prevents current flowing directly …

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Boffins

Do you need to constantly refer to scientists as "boffins"?

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Boffins

Yes we do. It's standard procedure. What's your point?

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Silver badge

Step by step

We are coming closer to the Star Wars energy pack. One small cigarette box that can power anything from a blaster to a pair of Radon-Ulzer 620c turbines, or even a lightsaber.

It's the wait that's killing me.

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Mat

@ Paul

Standard procedure; and accurate to boot!

bof·fin also Bof·fin

n. Chiefly British Slang

A scientist, especially one engaged in research.

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Anonymous Coward

Mad scientists?

Beardies?

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Boffins

Seems perfectly reasonable to me;

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/boffin

And *don't* bother quoting the Wikipedia reference back at me. I lend it no credence.

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Dead Vulture

Boffin

theres an island off ireland called inish"bofin". i dont think its full of scientists though.

http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=53.617968,-10.199175&spn=0.038846,0.098448&z=14

maybe cos its missing an F

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Tom

@ Jon

Beardies are Unix admin surely...

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Anonymous Coward

Boffin, a term devalued.

I wouldn't mind if the word Boffin was actually used as slang for research scientists, but these days, your average tabloid journalist uses it for any body who does any kind of research or might vaguely be called a scientist.

In fact the red tops seem to think anyone more intelligent that their readership is a Boffin, which makes my cat Einstein.

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Stu
Happy

Weed?

First thing I though when I saw the pic - Some fed holding a small bag of weed.

A second longer looking I saw it wasnt a baggy at all! Now it just looks like a sweet wrapper.

I dunno, maybe better showing us a sciency diagram pic instead of that ambiguous thing.

BTW Interesting article.

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Anonymous Coward

@Tom

You're thinking of "Weirdy Beardies".

There's a Baffin island, maybe that's where they come from?

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@Anonymous Coward

They don't have any doctors there either. I once had to be ferried off with concussion.

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Anonymous Coward

@ which makes my cat Einstein.

ahh I knew a cat is called Einstien too!

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Jim
Alert

Small point...

"sulfonated tetrafluorethylene copolymer"

Shouldn't that be sulphonated or is that battle lost?

I for one welcome our aluminum over-lords.

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@ Small Point...

No sulfonated is correct, it is the sulfur contain group in the polymer....

More Boffiness.... KC

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Anonymous Coward

why not distilled water hydrogen PEM fuel cell tech ? to take advantage of this 50% increase

this 50% increase in fuel cell tech is great but why are they looking to use flamable methanol fuel cell tech for laptops and other small portable kit, when theres already distilled water hydrogen PEM fuel cell tech ?

http://www.h-tec.com/education/english/technologie_brennstoff.asp?id=314

http://www.h-tec.com/education/english/sub_produkte/demonstration_exhibition.asp?id=221-

sure hydrogen is more flamable in bulk ,BUT, these units only convert and use tiny amounts at a time compared to the far higher amouts required in carrying Methanol canisters...

and at a pinch you can make your own distilled water for use in these water PEM very easlly.

perhaps it comes down to no margins in it for the distributers, as per petrol there needs to be a profit in it perhaps.

OC in this single PEM case, your average users might not mind paying a premium in less expensive distilled water, as apposed more expensive methanol fuel cell tech running costs.

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Stop

Re: @ Small Point…

It's spelled "sulphur".

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Stop

While we're being pedantic

...about the spelling of sulphur, what's with this "more intelligent that their readership". The comparative conjunction is THAN not THAT. I see this mistake more and more these days and can't figure out why.

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Unhappy

Sulphur - A battle lost.

The RSC have picked sulfur and I guess they should know.

http://www.rsc.org/delivery/_ArticleLinking/DisplayArticleForFree.cfm?doi=JM99101FP055&JournalCode=JM

A sad day indeed, I'll be on the aluminium ramparts if you need me.

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