Skip to main content

Compact methanol reformer test-design construction and operation of a 25 kW unit

Article Category

Article available in the folowing languages:

Methanol fuelled cars are coming soon

In very near future, as early as 2004 according to Daimler-Chrysler and GM/Opel, polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) may be the environmentally most acceptable alternative to conventional drives for powering our cars.

Industrial Technologies

Our cars will, in the very near future, use a Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) and an electric motor, offering increased energy efficiency and substantially reduced emissions, compared to the best internal combustion engines. Methanol is regarded as the best fuel for such systems, in terms of availability, cost and safety. According to Daimler-Chrysler and GM/Opel, the mass market will start as early as 2004, while the biggest Japanese manufacturers place their market entry some 20 years from now. The project involved the design, construction and operation of a passenger car drive system consisting of a compact methanol reformer (CMR), including gas cleaning, in combination with a PEMFC stack and the interfaces. The aim was a complete unit with a weight/volume of less than 4/5 kg/l per kW, costing below 100-200 ECU per KW, with the ability to beat ULEV emission standards. The partners Haldor Topsoe A/S, KFA Jülich and SIEMENS have, up to now, gained valuable know-how and it is anticipated that some of the units can be used in the shorter term for other applications, like stationary or marine PEMFC plants. All in all, the anticipated benefits to society will be less pollution, higher energy conversion efficiency and less dependence on crude oil.

Discover other articles in the same domain of application