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Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Utilizing Concentrated Methanol

Award Information

Department of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2003 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2003
Title: Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Utilizing Concentrated Methanol
Agency / Branch: DOD / ARMY
Contract: DAAD17-03-C-004
Award Amount: $69,989.00


The Army requires a compact lightweight fuel cell-battery hybrid power source to power the electronic and other equipment carried by individual soldiers. The power source is required to deliver an average of 15 W for missions of greater than 72 hours.Hybrid power sources based on a Li-Ion battery recharged as necessary by a direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) are promising candidates for this application. However, reductions in weight, volume and cost of the DMFC stack and system are required.To meet this need, Giner Electrochemical Systems, LLC proposes to develop a DMFC battery charger featuring a lightweight DMFC stack having minimal methanol crossover, allowing operation on methanol concentrations as high as 10M, compared to maximummethanol concentrations of 1M for state-of-the-art stacks. The decreased crossover and use of more concentrated fuel will significantly reduce the amount of fuel and diluent water that must be carried. The proposed stack will also result in a simpler,lighter-weight system through reduction in the size and number of components required to treat the cathode effluent. The proposed compact lightweight DMFC system is an attractive power source for portable electronics for both military and commercial applications due to the potentially high specific energy and energy density of the proposed system A DMFC-Li-Ion batteryhybrid will provide uninterrupted operation for an extended duration. DMFCs are expected to have long shelf and operating lives and will be easily refueled. Methanol fuel cells use an inexpensive, easily transported and stored fuel. Environmental concernswith DMFCs are significantly lower than for primary Li batteries. These benefits apply equally to civilian markets for power supplies for electronic devices. The primary military customers would be the U.S. Army and the Marine Corps. The primary commercial customers would be manufacturers of portable electronic devices, such as laptop computers, cellular phones, electronic notebooks, global positioningdevices, and a myriad of other consumer electronics.

Principal Investigator:

Cecelia Cropley
Director, Materials/Syste

Business Contact:

Anthony J. Vaccaro
Small Business Information at Submission:

89 Rumford Avenue Newton, MA 02466

EIN/Tax ID: 043515357
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No