|Palo Alto, Calif. — July 11, 2005 — To develop a compelling microfuel cell technology, scientists look at providing power densities that are comparable to that of conventional or rechargeable batteries. Direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC), a prospective fuel cell technology for powering portable devices provides power density in the range of 20 to 50 mille watts per square cm (mW/cm2).
DMFCs must reach 100 mW/cm2 to avoid an output density shortfall and meet the requirements of power-hungry devices such as notebook computers, handheld data collection devices, and military equipment.
Another alternative to DMFC is the direct formic acid fuel cell (DFAFC) technology that has the potential to offer five to six times higher power densities.
“The use of formic acid as a fuel offers advantages such as less fuel cross-over, use of higher fuel concentrations (80 percent by weight) at the anode side, good anode kinetics at room temperatures, and high power densities,” says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Viswanathan Krishnan.