Special Issue "Methanol and Alcohol Fuel Cells"
A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2015)
Dr. Carsten Cremers
Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology ICT, Joseph-von-Fraunhofer Strasse 7, 76327 Pfinztal, Germany
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Interests: electrocatalysis; direct alcohol fuel cells; direct methanol fuel cells; anion exchange membrane fuel cells; high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells; reformed methanol fuel cells; fuel cells for portable applications; fuel cell based auxiliary power units; fuel cell based range extenders
In addition to hydrogen, methanol is the fuel most often discussed for use in fuel cells. Direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC) were among the first fuel cell systems to be commercialized for small scale battery charging and portable power source applications. Reformed methanol fuel cells (RMFC) have even been considered as an alternative to hydrogen fuel cells for fuel cell electric drive train application, e.g., in the Daimler’s NECAR 4 concept car, due to the higher energy storage density and easier storage of methanol.
The use of methanol in fuel cells also poses, however, certain challenges. Thus, DMFC suffer from the slow kinetics of the methanol oxidation, which usually lead to higher catalyst loadings, as in hydrogen fed polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEMFC) of the same power, thus, causing higher costs. Extensive research on an improved anode catalyst is, therefore, performed. As of recently, two new approaches, suitable also for larger scale DMFC, have been investigated. Direct conversion of methanol, or other alcohols, in alkaline anion exchange membrane fuel cells, has the potential to avoid the use of platinum at the anode and of platinum group metal catalysts at the cathode, reducing fuel cell costs. The direct conversion of methanol or ethanol in high temperature PEMFC, or alternative intermediate temperature fuel cells, can profit from the internal reforming of fuel, a technique already successfully used in solid oxide and molten carbonate fuel cell technology to mitigate restrictions in heat removal and to simplify the systems. Last but not least, RMFC, using high temperature PEMFC as a fuel cell component, have shown high potential with respect to system integration. In combination with battery electric drive trains, this can offer methanol operated fuel cells the chance to re-enter the automotive market.
In this Special Issue of Energies on Methanol and Alcohol Fuel Cells, new developments in the field of methanol, or, generally, alcohol-operated fuel cells shall be discussed. This comprises material research, such as catalysts for the anodic oxidation of methanol and other alcohols in PEM, AEM, or HT-PEMFC-based environments, improved and possibly PGM-free cathode catalysts and new membranes, as well as stack development issues and system integration issues including reformer technologies.
Dr. Carsten Cremers
Manuscript Submission Information
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- direct methanol fuel cells
- reformed methanol fuel cells
- anode catalysts
- cathode catalysts
- anion exchange membrane fuel cells
- high temperature polymer electrolyte fuel cells
- methanol/alcohol reformers