Internal Reforming Methanol Fuel Cell Development
In the current work a novel IRMFC which is operated in the 210-220°C range is presented. Operating an IRMFC at these high temperatures would mean novel materials and components to be employed within the HT-PEMFC as well as within the methanol reformer unit. The high temperature stable membrane electrode assemblies were developed by Advent technologies in Greece. The high temperature stable bipolar plates were developed by ZBT in Germany within the scope of a current EU funded project. When operated at 220°C on 350 mA/cm² of load current, the novel HT-PEMFC could deliver 210 mW/cm² at 0.6 V. As for the methanol reforming unit operated at 220°C, when fed with methanol-water mixture with a steam to carbon ratio of 1.5, the methanol conversion rate was around 90%. The performance analyses of the IRMFC single unit as well as that of the 5 cell unit demonstrate the potential to developing a compact light weight power generating unit offering double the gravimetric and volumetric energy densities offered by the current direct methanol fuel cell based units.