Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Carnegie Mellon researcher leads team working to create methanol fuel cell

20.02.2006


Tiny fuel cells may provide power to many consumer goods



Carnegie Mellon University’s Prashant Kumta will discuss his novel methanol-powered fuel cell research from 8 to 9:30 a.m., Feb. 18, during the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science at the Renaissance Grand Hotel in St. Louis, Mo.

Kumta, a professor of materials science and biomedical engineering, is developing microscale fuel cells that use methanol instead of expensive and unstable hydrogen, which is difficult to produce in large quantities.


"We envision a fuel cell system about the size of a cigarette lighter that could be refueled by inserting a small cartridge of methanol. So we are essentially developing a more efficient catalyst," Kumta said.

At present, most methanol fuel cells use noble metals like platinum and ruthenium for power. But researchers say those metals are extremely expensive.

The direct methanol fuel cell is powered by methanol and water. When the methanol and water make contact with a catalyst in the fuel cell, they break down into carbon dioxide, positively charged protons and negatively charged electrons. The protons are attracted by a special membrane that allows them to pass through, while blocking the path of the electrons. The electrons must pass through an external circuit to get around the membrane, creating an electrical current. The fuel cell produces carbon dioxide, which is vented away, and water, which can be recycled to use with additional methanol.

"One problem with these fuel cells is that not all the methanol gets properly catalyzed and that methanol can seep through the membrane, reducing its efficiency," Kumta said.

Kumta and his group are developing nanostructured catalyst compositions using novel chemistry methods that exhibit excellent catalytic activity compared to conventional standards catalysts.

The technology is currently being extended to develop the nanostructured catalysts on innovative nano-crystalline support systems that will likely exhibit much better reliability and stability compared with present systems, according to Kumta. Portable electronic devices, such as cell phones, personal digital assistants and laptop computers, may one day become the first widely used consumer items to take advantage of fuel cells, industry analysts report.

Chriss Swaney | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.andrew.cmu.edu

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht 'Stealth' material hides hot objects from infrared eyes
25.06.2018 | University of Wisconsin-Madison

nachricht Scientists print sensors on gummi candy: creating microelectrode arrays on soft materials
21.06.2018 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Superconducting vortices quantize ordinary metal

Russian researchers together with their French colleagues discovered that a genuine feature of superconductors -- quantum Abrikosov vortices of supercurrent -- can also exist in an ordinary nonsuperconducting metal put into contact with a superconductor. The observation of these vortices provides direct evidence of induced quantum coherence. The pioneering experimental observation was supported by a first-ever numerical model that describes the induced vortices in finer detail.

These fundamental results, published in the journal Nature Communications, enable a better understanding and description of the processes occurring at the...

Im Focus: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rapid water formation in diffuse interstellar clouds

25.06.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Using tree-fall patterns to calculate tornado wind speed

25.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Stealth' material hides hot objects from infrared eyes

25.06.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>