STUDIES REGARDING THE EFFICIENCY OF A DIRECT METHANOL FUEL CELL (DMFC)

Violeta VASILACHE

Abstract

Combustion cells are devices which transform chemical energy into electric and thermal energy. There could be an acceptable solution to the problem of alternative sources of energy, for a lot of practical applications. DMFC combustion cell (DMFC – direct methanol fuel cell) uses methanol, instead of hydrogen, so it works safely. More, the storage of combustible does not represent a difficult problem, like the hydrogen storage presents. A reforming device is not necessary, because the cell itself transforms methanol into hydrogen protons, free electrons and CO2. The absence of reforming device make this type of cell more adapted for automotive applications where the objective is to have a simple source of electric power. A polymeric membrane which could conduct protons is used as electrolyte. The technology DMFC (direct methanol fuel cell) is in fact a variant of PEMFC (polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell) technology, which was developed having hydrogen as combustible. Using chemical reactions, the efficiency was calculated theoretically to find the possibilities of increasing it. Thermodynamic considerations were also used to complete the efficiency study. Finally, using scientific data, a calculus was performed.

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