Energy Glossary

Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC)

A fuel cell which uses methanol without any preprocessing to provide electrical energy (power).

Compared to other systems DMFCs use an easily storable liquid as chemical energy source. Todays systems use a watery solution of methanole (a few percent methanole). This reduces the net energy density compared to lithium ion batteries and other rechargeable battery types.

The main advantage of DMFCs is that these devices just need a refill of the water-methanole tank or cardridge to provide further operation. Compared to batteries they do not need any time consuming recharge process.

Further developments might include

  • the operation with higher methanole concentration or
  • the use of a methanole water mixing system which uses the water produced during processing to dilute the input flow of water/methanole

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