A team from Heriot-Watt University in Scotland is developing the world’s first ‘Direct Urea Powered Fuel Cell’ using low cost polymer membrane and non-platinum group metal catalyst technology.
Urea and ammonia offer low cost energy sources, as urea is mass manufactured as a fertiliser and is a major component in urine. Building on a feasibility study and funded by a 12-month Engineering and Physical Science Research Council grant, the team is optimising the system to build a working demonstrator early 2011.
Industrial partners with an interest in renewable energy, fuel cells or water purification are invited to collaborate on this venture with a view to technology commercialisation.
Uses low cost easily transported liquid fuel – such as the marketed urea solutions, Adblue or Greenox
A non-flammable non-toxic alternative to hydrogen or methanol-fuelled cells
Generates electrical power directly from Ammonia/ Urine/ Urea solution
Low cost polymer and catalyst system
The technology could be used for auxiliary and off-grid power supply, or as a power source for portable devices such as laptops and mobile phones, or hybrid and electric vehicles.
The technology is available for license or collaborative development in all fields of use. A patent has been filed.
For more information, visit the project’s website at: http://www.university-technology.com/details/direct-ammonia-urea-urine-fuel-cell-for-portable-power--wastewater-treatment