via OSU College of Engineering
Alternative-energy research at Oregon State University is charting a path toward the mass adoption of clean cars powered by direct-ethanol fuel cells.
Zhenxing Feng of the OSU College of Engineering helped lead the development of a catalyst that solves three key problems long associated with DEFC, as the cells are known: low efficiency, the cost of catalytic materials and the toxicity of chemical reactions inside the cells.
Feng and collaborators at Oregon State, the University of Central Florida and the University of Pittsburgh found that putting fluorine atoms into palladium-nitrogen-carbon catalysts had a number of positive effects – including keeping the power-dense cells stable for nearly 6,000 hours. A catalyst is a substance that increases the rate of a reaction without itself undergoing any permanent chemical change.
Findings were published today in Nature Energy.
Cars and trucks powered by gasoline or diesel engines rely on the combustion of fossil fuels, which results in emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. Motor vehicles are one of the main sources of atmospheric CO2, a primary factor in climate change.
“Combustion engines produce enormous amounts of carbon dioxide,” said Feng, associate professor of chemical engineering. “To achieve carbon-neutral and zero-carbon-emissions goals, alternative energy conversion devices using the fuel from renewable and sustainable sources are urgently needed. Direct-ethanol fuel cells can potentially replace gasoline- and diesel-based energy conversion systems as power sources.”
Feng and collaborators are in the process of soliciting funding to develop prototypes of DEFC units for portable devices and vehicles.
“If this is successful, we can deliver a device for commercialization in five years,” he said. “With more industrial collaborators, the DEFC vehicle can be implemented in 10 years, hopefully.”
Ethanol, also known as ethyl alcohol, consists of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen – its chemical formula is C2H6O – and is the active ingredient in alcoholic drinks. It occurs naturally through the fermentation of sugars by yeasts and can be derived from many sources including corn, wheat, grain sorghum, barley, sugar cane and sweet sorghum.
Most of the ethanol produced in the United States is made in the Midwest, most typically from corn.
A fuel cell, Feng explains, relies on the chemical energy of hydrogen or other fuels to cleanly and efficiently produce electricity. They can use a wide range of fuels and feedstocks and can serve systems as large as a utility power plant and as small as a laptop computer.
“In DEFC technology, ethanol can be generated from a number of sources, particularly biomass like sugar cane, wheat and corn,” Feng said. “The benefit of using biological sources to produce ethanol is that plants absorb atmospheric carbon dioxide.”
A liquid and thus easily stored and transported, ethanol can deliver more energy per kilogram than other fuels like methanol or pure hydrogen. Plus, Feng points out, infrastructure is already in place for both producing and distributing ethanol, making DEFC an attractive option for replacing internal combustion engines.
“The first vehicle powered by an ethanol-based fuel cell was developed in 2007,” Feng said. “However, the further development of DEFC vehicles has significantly lagged due to the low efficiency of DEFC, the costs related to catalysts and the risk of catalyst poisoning from carbon monoxide produced in reactions inside the fuel cell.”
To tackle those problems the research team, which also included OSU’s Maoyu Wang and scientists from Southern University of Science and Technology in China and Argonne National Laboratory, developed high-performance palladium alloy catalysts that use less of the precious metal than current palladium-based catalysts.
Palladium, platinum and ruthenium are elements valued for their catalytic properties but expensive and difficult to obtain.
“Our team showed that introducing fluorine atoms into palladium-nitrogen-carbon catalysts modifies the environment around the palladium, and that improves both activity and durability for two important reactions in the cell: the ethanol oxidation reaction and the oxygen reduction reaction,” Feng said. “Advanced synchrotron X-ray spectroscopy characterizations made at Argonne suggest that fluorine atom introduction creates a more nitrogen-rich palladium surface, which is favorable for catalysis. Durability is enhanced by inhibiting palladium migration and decreasing carbon corrosion.”
Original Article: OSU research pushes auto industry closer to clean cars powered by direct ethanol fuel cells
More from: Oregon State University College of Engineering | University of Central Florida | University of Pittsburgh | Southern University of Science and Technology | Argonne National Laboratory
The Latest on: Direct ethanol fuel cells
- Study paves way to more efficient production of 2G ethanol using specially modified yeast strainon March 27, 2023 at 12:30 pm
These residues are rich in cellulose and hemicellulose (polymeric carbohydrates that maintain the mechanical strength of plant stem cell walls), which can be ... a Brazilian industrial strain for fuel ...
- Are Hydrogen Cars Still Happening?on March 24, 2023 at 4:59 pm
Improvements continue at a rapid pace, but it’s not enough for some. To these diehards, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles may have some attractive benefits. By passing hydrogen gas through a proton ...
- Direct Methanol Fuel Cells Market Segments, Opportunity, Growth And CAGR Of 16.8% In The Vicinity Of 2023-2033on March 16, 2023 at 4:19 am
Global Direct Methanol Fuel Cells Market is esteemed at USD 2.11 Mn in 2022 to achieve USD 3.76 Mn Till 2033, at a CAGR of 16.8%. NEW YORK, NY, UNITED STATES, March 16, 2023 /einpresswire.com ...
- Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Market 2023 Is Booming Around the World by 2028on February 22, 2023 at 11:29 pm
“Global Direct Methanol Fuel Cell market size was valued at USD 134.99 million in 2022 and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 9.01% during the forecast period, reaching USD 226.47 million by 2028.
- Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Market Projected to Reach USD 6.88 billion, at a 13.26% CAGR by 2030 – Report by Market Research Future (MRFR)on February 22, 2023 at 5:48 am
New York, US, Feb. 22, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- According to a Comprehensive Research Report by Market Research Future (MRFR), “Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Market Information By Component ...
- Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Market | SWOT Analysis with [ NEWEST REPORT of 120 Pages ] till 2028on February 16, 2023 at 9:59 am
Global Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Market increase market 2023, companies can use a combination of various strategies such as improving product quality, expanding their product line, entering new ...
- 2021 Honda Clarity Fuel Cellon May 3, 2019 at 12:17 am
While the Clarity Fuel Cell's most direct rivals - at least in terms of its fuel source - are limited to the all-new Toyota Mirai and Hyundai Nexo, the abundance of plug-in hybrids and newly ...
- Fuel Cells Informationon February 11, 2018 at 4:17 pm
There many are types of fuel cells and fuel cell components. Examples include a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell, direct methanol fuel cell (DFMC), phosphoric acid fuel cell (PAFC), molten ...
- Hydrogen peroxide could power future fuel cellon October 26, 2017 at 6:19 am
such as methanol or ethanol, which can be derived from corn. Such a propulsion system would provide an alternative to today's nonrenewable hydrocarbon fuels that are processed from crude oil, Heister ...
- Fuel Cellson April 8, 2011 at 2:35 am
According to many experts, we may soon find ourselves using fuel cells to generate electrical power for all sorts of objects we use every day. A fuel cell is a device that uses a source of fuel ...
via Bing News
The Latest on: Direct ethanol fuel cells
[google_news title=”” keyword=”direct ethanol fuel cells” num_posts=”10″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]
via Google News