Electrochemical Engine Center

ECEC Fuel Cell Research: Direct Dimethyl Ether (DME) Fuel Cell for Portable Applications

Investigators: Matthew Mench, C. Y. Wang, and Henry Chance

Sponsor: Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.

The use of Dimethyl Ether in PEM fuel cells has several key advantages for portable applications compared to hydrogen or direct methanol fuel cells. Non-toxic, high density, liquid DME fuel can be easily stored at modest pressures. This combines the fuel delivery (pumpless) advantage of a hydrogen fuel cell with the high energy density of a liquid fuel. This project will determine the feasibility of a portable DME fuel cell by examining the limiting transport mechanisms for efficient reaction.

Photo at left: Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrocopy (FTIR) Chemical Species Analysis System will be used to analyze species composition in the DME cell