PolyFuel Claims Unprecedented Power Density For Portable Methanol Fuel Cell Stack

September 26, 2007 by Jeff Shepard

PolyFuel announced the development of a fuel cell stack that is capable of delivering what is claimed to be an unprecedented 500W per liter of stack volume, and to significantly advance the state of the art for "direct methanol" fuel cells (DMFC). The tiny stack delivers a peak power of 56W – more than twice that needed to power a typical laptop computer. The announcement marks PolyFuel’s first public disclosure of what is described as its growing expertise in fuel cell technology outside the membrane.

"PolyFuel’s breakthrough is important for portable electronics – particularly laptop computers," said Henry Voss, VP of Engineering for PolyFuel and holder of 27 fuel cell patents. "It is the first time, to my knowledge, that anyone has demonstrated a Direct Methanol Fuel Cell stack with this high a power density." In layman’s terms, explained Voss, this means that long-running fuel cell power supplies of a size and weight attractive to consumers, and that physically integrate with a laptop in the same fashion as today’s Lithium ion batteries, are technically within reach.

Although the company believes that the new stack is the highest-performing direct methanol fuel cell stack ever developed, it states that its purpose remains to provide developers of fuel cells or fuel cell components with tangible examples of how a consumer-acceptable fuel cell design can be accomplished, particularly with PolyFuel’s hydrocarbon membranes.