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Alcohol to Electric Conversion

  1. Aug 30, 2007 #1
    A remark in another forum has cause more quesions to pop up, please try to answer or just lay back and enjoy the ride.

    The "E" in E-85" is ethanol which is a type of alcohol, right?


    1. Are there any Fuel Cells which use ethanol?

    2. Whats the largest version of an "alcohol based" fuel cell out there?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 30, 2007 #2


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    There are direct ethanol fuel cells, they don't work as well as methanol but ethanol is nicer stuff to work with. They are R+D scale but could be good since the membrane ones don't need fancy catalysts.
    Direct fuel cells work directly on the compound, most current fuel cells split the ethanol to get the hydrogen which is then used as a fuel.
    Wiki as quite a good list of fuel cell types.
  4. Sep 3, 2007 #3
    FYI, on the PBS TV program "Autoline Detroit" this weekend Bob Lutz of GM talked about the Chevy Volt. It's powertrain is pretty what I have been asking about and looking for. Its a classic disruptive technology although Lutz is quick to point out there are no conceptual hurdles to overcome (without whispering the word "Hydrogen"), it's pretty much using technology that's already out there - just making it better.

    Watch the interview here (The Shock of the New):

    Link to the "Volt":
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2007
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