Direct Methanol Fuel Cells
For Small Portable Power Applications
Giner has performed extensive research and development of Direct Methanol Fuel Cells (DMFC), leading to the production of advanced prototypes for applications such as portable power for home and work use, light vehicle propulsion, and military systems.
The generation of portable power is one of the most persistent and challenging problems in electrochemistry. Conventional batteries can be fabricated to provide high power, but low specific energy can be a problem.
The DMFC is potentially an attractive technology for niche low power applications, where portability is particularly important. Their main advantage is the relatively easy and safe accessibility of methanol, but efficiency is low. Applications that have been targeted include power systems for small vehicles, such as fork-lift trucks and scooters, portable electronic devices, such as mobile phones and laptops, and more recently certain medical devices. None of these applications has yet reached mainstream market adoption.
Unlike reformer-based systems which convert methanol to hydrogen (and CO and CO2) for subsequent oxidation in a hydrogen-air fuel cell, the DMFC directly oxidizes the methanol at the anode:
2 CH3OH + 2 H2O → 2 CO2 + 12 H+ + 12 e-
while reducing oxygen at the cathode:
3 O2 + 12 H+ + 12 e- → 6 H2O
So that the overall reaction is:
2 CH3OH + 3 O2 → 2 CO2 + 4 H2O
Contact us to find out more about Giner’s expertise in Direct Methanol Fuel Cells.