Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Development of a solid electrolyte direct methanol fuel cell

The project basic materials research was undertaken in order to identify suitable electrolyte material with high hydrogen ion conductivity. Materials selection and screening of new types of membranes with low methanol cross-over and high thermal stability, was carried out in order to identify proton conducting electrolytes in direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs). These novel composite membranes were fabricated using an improved coating technology.

Fuel cells have found worldwide interest for electric vehicle propulsion because they convert the chemical energy of a fuel into electrical energy with high efficiency and negligible toxic emissions. Using selected inorganic and organic proton conductors, the project aimed to optimise the construction of composite electrolyte membranes for a DMFC. Methanol as a liquid fuel for these cells shows a high energy density and allows a gasoline-like storage of the fuel on board the vehicle, and thus could be easily integrated into the existing transport sector infrastructure. A major bottle-neck was the electrical resistivity of the solid electrolyte. The presence of methanol on the oxidant side implies a reduced overall fuel cell voltage and thus has to be avoided.

Reported by

IRD FUEL CELL A/S
Kullinggade 31
SVENDBORG
Denmark
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