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MIT Fuel Cell 50 Percent More Efficient

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have created a new methanol fuel cell that is 50-percent more efficient that other comparable FC’s. This direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC), according to MIT Professor Paula Hammond is cost-effective, highly tunable and has more output than a comparable material called Nafion.

In fact, Hammond says the new layer-by-layer assembly technique is what makes the MIT fuel cell superior to Dupont’s Nafion. This type of nanotechnology makes the MIT DMFC less permeable to methanol leakage.

Methanol is a fuel favored in many portable devices since it has a high energy density and can be used directly instead of being reformed into hydrogen then run through a PEM fuel cell. Methanol is a liquid and is easier to handle than hydrogen gas, is arguably safer and the only waste is water and a small amount of CO2.

The thin film assembly technology that MIT has developed will not only be useful as a replacement for current battery technology, but the researchers are also examining its use for the photovoltaic industry as well.

About Kevin

Kevin is both an environmentalist and a tech guy and has been writing, editing and publishing this blog since 2007. He answers questions related to how you can use tech to go greener.

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