Ethanol Powered Fuel Cells
Kyushu Institute of Technology research group proposes using ethanol as a direct
fuel in next-generation fuel cells.
Ethanol powered fuel cells up to now have had a number of drawbacks including
low catalytic performance, poor fuel cell efficiency, and a decrease in open
voltage due to ethanol crossover when the ethanol concentration was increased
to boost efficiency. The Kyushu University research group is proposing the use
of a direct ethanol fuel cell to address these problems.
First, it is possible to boost the fuel cell performance while operating at
room temperature by using oxidized nanoparticles as the anode catalyst. Next
a composite catalyst is used for the cathode catalyst. This arrangement curbs
the decrease in the open voltage caused by ethanol crossover, and makes it possible
to use a highly concentrated ethanol solution.
Researchers are looking to develop a commercially feasible low-load fuel cell
that uses ethanol, a renewable fuel, as a direct fuel.
Run time 2.09 mins