Electrical Energy from Alcohol

  • 10
  • Feb
  • 2020

The “NeMaCell“ ESF junior scientist research group is developing methanol fuel cells at Chemnitz University of Technology.

To generate climate-neutral electricity, for example for electromobility: a total of six professors from Chemnitz University of Technology are involved in the “New Materials for Fuel Cells” (NeMaCell) cooperative interdisciplinary project. The goal of the research team is to develop a fuel cell that can generate electricity from pure methanol. As methanol is a liquid and has similar transport properties as diesel and petrol, a vehicle with the appropriate technology could be refueled in a similar fashion to an automobile, and within a very short period of time.

ECMetAC Newsletter Jan 2020


Currently, methanol fuel cell technology is mainly used as a niche solution, for example within military context for energy generation in the field. As well, the application of methanol is more difficult than, for example, the H2 fuel cell, as the use of methanol to generate electricity requires more complex catalysts, among other things.

For widespread use in the area of energy generation, further optimisation and an economic assessment of the technology are necessary. Both of these are a part of the NeMaCell project, and this should help contribute to the marketability of this groundbreaking future technology.

For more information, please visit the project website www.tu-chemnitz.de/nemacell

Marc Armbrüster