Leroy Ohlsen, 30
Replaced fuel cells plastic membranes with porous silicon.
Founder and chief technology officer , Neah Power Systems
Fuel cells that run on methanol can power cell phones and laptops, but theyre expensive and not very powerful. Leroy Ohlsen, founder of Neah Power Systems of Bothell, WA, replaced the cells plastic membranes, which strip electrons out of the methanol to produce electricity, with porous silicon. Not only does the silicon "give us more power," says Ohlsen, but it could also cut manufacturing costs. Expect the companys first fuel cells in 2006.