SBIR Phase I:ELECTROCHEMICAL CONVERSION OF COMPLEX FUELS TO ELECTRICAL ENERGY
This SBIR Phase I project will develop a novel, single-cell, electrochemical cell that can convert a fuel to electrical energy at near ambient temperature, without reforming it to hydrogen, in a safe, non-toxic, non-flammable environment. It will demonstrate a method to control the fuel electrode activity by external electrical means while converting a complex organic fuel, such as a simple carbohydrate, to produce electrical power output comparable to that of a hydrogen fuel cell.
The broader/commercial impact of the project will be to reduce reliance on fossil fuels since the fuel cell can theoretically run on any organic matter (tests will use sugar, fructose, and/or glucose). Also, use of organic matter to directly fuel the engine instead of using it to convert fuel into hydrogen will result in greater efficiency and less greenhouse gas emissions. The full commercialization of the research proposed could be far-reaching, allowing the conversion of benign fuels into electricity for a wide variety of uses.
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