The indirect methanol cell fuel concept actively pursued by the USDOE and General Motors Corporation proposes the development of an "electrochemical engine" (e.c.e.), an electrical generator capable for usually efficient and clean power production from methanol fuel for the transportation sector. This on-board generator works in consort with batteries to provide electrical power to drive propulsion motors for a range of electric vehicles. Success in this technology could do much to improve impacted environmental areas and to convert part of the transportation fleet to natural gas- and coal-derived methanol as the fuel source. These developments parallel work in Europe and Japan where various fuel cell powered vehicles, often fueled with tanked or hydride hydrogen, are under active development. Transportation applications present design challenges that are distinctly different from utility requirements, the thrust of most of previous fuel cell programs. In both cases, high conversion efficiency (fuel to electricity) is essential. However, transportation requirements dictate as well designs for high power densities, rapid transients including short times for system start up, and consumer safety. The e.c.e. system is formed from four interacting components: (1) the fuel processor; (2) the fuel cell stack; (3) the air compression and decompression device; and (4) the condensing cross flow heat exchange device.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Los Alamos National Laboratory

    P.O. Box 1663
    Los Alamos, NM  United States  87545
  • Authors:
    • Vanderborgh, N E
    • McFarland, R D
    • Huff, J R
  • Publication Date: 1990

Media Info

  • Features: Figures;
  • Pagination: 19 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00608425
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Report/Paper Numbers: LA-UR-90-3356, CONF-901106-1
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 31 1991 12:00AM