Micro Fuel Cell Basics
How the Technology Works
A micro fuel cell is a portable power source for low power electronic devices that converts chemical energy into useable electrical energy. It generates power through the electrochemical reaction of a fuel in the presence of a catalyst. The Company's micro fuel cell uses methanol as fuel. Methanol, a common alcohol, has the advantage of high energy density offering the consumer the potential for longer use time and products with increased functionality.
|(Environmentally Benign By-products)|
The heart of a micro fuel cell comprises a central membrane coated on each side by a catalyst layer, one for reacting the fuel and the other for reacting oxygen from air. The micro fuel cell produces electrical power when the fuel is introduced to the anode catalyst layer. At the anode catalyst, the fuel reacts with water to produce protons, electrons and carbon dioxide. The membrane allows protons to pass through to the cathode catalyst layer. Electrons are forced to take an alternate path and flow through the wires of the electronic device, providing electrical power. At the cathode catalyst layer, the protons and electrons recombine and react with oxygen to form water vapor.
The overall process in the methanol/air fuel cell is thus the direct conversion of the energy of methanol fuel to electric power, with carbon dioxide and water vapor as the only two byproducts.