Vânia Oliveira was awarded with an individual FCT grant with the work:
“Micro Passive Direct Methanol Fuel Cells (mpDMFC) as a revolutionary power supply for medical devices”
The hearing aids have the disadvantage of using small batteries that are very difficult to change, especially by older users (approximately 50%), and this has to be performed at least once a week. This research project will solve this problem and increase the life quality of its users through the development of a new and more user-friendly technology, mpDMFC, to replace the conventional batteries, with a refilling time lower than 1 min. Moreover, this technology is more efficient allowing to increase the hearing aids functionalities. This prototype will deploy a safe, fossil fuel independent and small and decentralized electricity, which is particularly useful in developing countries and rural areas where the grids are unreliable.
This project will develop a new generation of mpDMFCs with high efficiencies and lifetime and lower costs, and a prototype that will be used as a demonstrable product for scientific and industrial proposes.