Canadian Biomass Magazine

Features Harvesting Sustainability
Solar-induced fuel cell makes electricity from biomass


February 19, 2014
By Georgia Tech

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February 19, 2014, Atlanta, Ga. - Although low temperature fuel cells powered by methanol or hydrogen have been well studied, existing low temperature fuel cell technologies cannot directly use biomass as a fuel because of the lack of an effective catalyst system for polymeric materials.

February 19, 2014, Atlanta, Ga. – Although low temperature
fuel cells powered by methanol or hydrogen have been well studied, existing low
temperature fuel cell technologies cannot directly use biomass as a fuel
because of the lack of an effective catalyst system for polymeric materials.

 

Now, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have
developed a new type of low-temperature fuel cell that directly converts
biomass to electricity with assistance from a catalyst activated by solar or
thermal energy. The hybrid fuel cell can use a wide variety of biomass sources,
including starch, cellulose, lignin – and even switchgrass, powdered wood,
algae and waste from poultry processing.

 

The device could be used in small-scale units to provide
electricity for developing nations, as well as for larger facilities to provide
power where significant quantities of biomass are available.

 

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