Full Title: Evaluating the Energy Consumption and Emissions of Direct Alcohol Fuel Cells
Author(s): Lin Gao, Malintha C. Abeysiri , Zach C. Winfield
Publisher(s): International Journal of Energy Science
Publication Date: 10/2012



As a result of recent developments in fuel cell technology, serious consideration is given to direct alcohol fuel cells in which alcohol is used directly as the fuel. Methanol and ethanol are the most promising fuels for transportation applications. To assess the environmental benefits of these fuel choices over petroleum, it is important to analyze their energy uses and emissions during the entire fuel cycle. A direct alcohol fuel cell model was developed with a software simulation, and a data analysis was conducted based on the simulation results. Energy consumption and emissions were calculated throughout the entire cycle from well-to-wheels (WTW). It was observed that the direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) reduces energy consumption and emissions, and that when ethanol, a renewable energy source, is used in fuel cells, it will significantly cut emissions from fuel cells. However, ethanol uses more energy throughout the entire cycle.