Direct Methanol Fuel Cell

The SFC fuel cell technology


EFOY Fuel Cartridge

Waste heat + Water vapour + CO2


In recent times, the direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) has gained significant interest due to its high energy density, simplified system construction, ease of liquid fuel storage, and minimal mission. In this article, we will provide an explanation of what a DMFC is and more.

What are Direct Methanol Fuel Cells (DMFC)?

DMFC fuel cells are a remarkable technological achievement, known for being lightweight, powerful, and durable. They utilize direct methanol as the fuel source to generate electricity, and are particularly well-suited for off-grid and mobile applications such as Mission Critical Communication, Information Technology, Optronics, Sensors, and Auxiliary Power, making them the leading fuel cell system in the market.

The DMFC Working Principle

The design of DMFC closely resembles that of a battery, consisting of two electrodes - an anode and a cathode - separated by a membrane. By combining the methanol fuel with oxygen, the fuel cell converts it into energy, earning its name. As a result of the combustion process, the only by-products produced are heat, water, and a negligible amount of CO2.

How is energy generated by direct methanol fuel cells?

  • At the anode, methanol and water undergo an electrochemical reaction (oxidation of methanol) resulting in the formation of carbon dioxide, protons, and electrons.
  • The protons generated then travel through the polymer electrolyte to the cathode, where they combine with oxygen to produce water.
  • Meanwhile, the electrons produced at the anode carry the free energy generated by the chemical reaction and flow through the external circuit, where they are utilized to generate electricity.

What are the advantages of DMFCs?

The benefits of DMFC fuel cells can be summed up by comparing the advantages of methanol as a fuel to hydrogen:

  • Methanol is easier to transport, store and use. It doesn't require high pressures or low temperatures for storage and is available from both renewable and non-renewable sources.
  • Direct Methanol Fuel Cells produce cleaner energy. By using all by-products, except for CO2, the fuel cell system generates heat, water vapor for hydrogen production, and electricity with exceptionally low emissions, making it an environmentally friendly option.
  • Direct Methanol Fuel Cells are more durable. Since fuel cells have no moving parts, they operate quietly, experience minimal mechanical friction, and wear less. As a result, they require less maintenance, resulting in less downtime and lower long-term operational costs.

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