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With recent Hurricane Sandy as a reminder of the necessity of a mobile network that can withstand natural disaster, Nokia Siemens Networks and Burnaby, B.C.-based Ballard Power Systems are discussing using methanol fuel cells to power mobile networks in an emergency. They would replace batteries and diesel generators currently used for backup power with a source that is cheaper, quieter and more environmentally friendly. A prototype base station and methanol combination developed by the companies can provide 40 hours of power from 225 litres of methanol.