DMFC - Direct Methanol Fuel Cells Portal Page

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Direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) are the technology of choice for many Portable Power Applications. DMFC is also very important for Micro Power Applications which includes fuel cell systems for portable electronic equipment such as laptop computers, 2-way radios, cell phones, PDAs etc. The advantage of DMFCs is that Methanol is a liquid fuel and is therefore easier to store and transport than Hydrogen. DMFCs use the same type of electrolyte as PEM Fuel Cells, but require thicker membranes and greater loading (density) of catalysts.

How it Works

Using a liquid rather than gaseous fuel confers considerable advantages to DMFC developers. As a liquid, Methanol can integrate effectively with transmission and distribution systems that are already in existence. One drawback is that direct reforming of the Methanol within the Fuel Cell Stack means that the electrodes presently require large quantities of Platinum. DMFC technology is still in the early stages of development, however DMFC technology has been demonstrated in automotive and portable applications. DMFC's operate at between 50C and 120C with an efficiency of up to 40%

Chemical Equations:

Anode Reaction: CH3OH + H2O CO2 + 6H+ + 6e-
Cathode Reaction: 3/2O2 + 6H+ + 6e- 3H2O
Cell Reaction: CH3OH + 3/2O2 CO2 + 2H2O

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