Because methanol, as a liquid, would be easier to dispense using current infrastructure, it will likely be one of the first fuels for fuel cells.
Speaking at the 225th national meeting of the American Chemical Society March 23-27 in New Orleans, Yu Seung Kim, a former research scientist at Virginia Tech, will report the results of studies at Virginia Tech to determine the optimum materials for use as a proton exchange membrane in a methanol-based fuel cell.
Methanol is the simplest alcohol, explains Virginia Tech chemistry professor James McGrath. When used as fuel, it is diluted with water. In the fuel cell, the methanol-water molecule is stripped of an electron -- the energy source -- then the water and proton cross the proton exchange membrane to the fuel cells second chamber, where carbon dioxide and water are created as byproducts.
Jim McGrath | EurekAlert!
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