Methanol and fuel cells is a good match. Methanol used in fuel cells is highly efficient and in many cases, it make twice as good use of energy as a combustion engine. Serenergy fuel cells have an efficiency of +45 %, whereas a combustion engine has an efficiency of 25-30 %.
One of the world’s most flexible compounds
As one of the world’s most flexible compounds, methanol is the basis of hundreds of chemicals and thousands of products that touch our daily lives. It is also the second in the world in amount shipped and transported around the globe every year. Methanol is a truly global commodity and a key component of modern life and it is constantly being applied in new and innovative ways. Additionally, methanol is an excellent energy carrier and is much easier to storage than hydrogen and much cleaner than fossil fuels. Being a liquid fuel, it is much easier to handle and store than hydrogen and can be handled by the existing distribution system.
Methanol is readily available and is used in major quantities around the world as a mass-produced commodity. In cost-per-unit-of-energy terms, methanol compares favorably with gasoline and diesel. Besides being favorable in terms of cost-per-unit-of-energy and being a mass-produced commodity, methanol is safer than gasoline, being less prone to ignite and burns more clear than gasoline.
Methanol as a sustainable fuel
Methanol itself is not a sustainable fuel; however, it can be a sustainable fuel if it is produced from biomass resources. Bio methanol/green methanol is methanol produced from biomass or the biodegradable element of waste. It is thus CO2 neutral, as the CO2 discharged from the fuel cell does not have a negative impact on the climate balance. By replacing fossil fuels with green methanol, we are also taking a step forward in solving the environmental issues.
By using HT PEM fuel cell technology combined with a reformation process, the tolerance of CO is very high and thus is the fuel flexibility. CO and fuel cells are usually not a very good match, as CO is known as fuel cell poison, but because of the elevated temperature of the HT PEM fuel cell, hydrogen-rich fuel, such as methanol with a high CO concentration can be used without the same negative impact on performance and without the additional gas clean-up process. Serenergy thus offers a simple, compact and cheap system.