The micro direct methanol fuel cell (MicroDMFC) is an emergent technology due to its special interest for portable applications. This work presents the results of a set of experiments conducted at room temperature using an active metallic MicroDMFC with an active area of 2.25 cm2
. The MicroDMFC uses available commercial materials with low platinum content in order to reduce the overall fuel cell cost. The main goal of this work is to provide useful information to easily design an active MicroDMFC with a good performance recurring to cheaper commercial Membrane Electrode Assemblies MEAs. A performance/cost analysis for each MEA tested is provided. The maximum power output obtained was 18.1 mW/cm2
for a hot-pressed MEA with materials purchased from Quintech with very low catalyst loading (3 mg/cm2
Pt–Ru at anode side and 0.5 mg/cm2
PtB at the cathode side) costing around 15 euros. Similar power values are reported in literature for the same type of micro fuel cells working at higher operating temperatures and substantially higher cathode catalyst loadings. Experimental studies using metallic active micro direct methanol fuel cells operating at room temperature are very scarce. The results presented in this work are, therefore, very useful for the scientific community.
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