A Fuel Cell Today Analyst View, by Dan Carter, republished courtesy of Fuel Cell Today
Methanol is an attractive fuel for a wide variety of fuel cell applications. It is currently enjoying success across the world in various stationary applications, is of interest to the military in a number of countries to fuel portable fuel cells and is also extending the range and operational lifetime of batteries powering a small number of niche transport applications, such as materials handling vehicles. We have written a number of Analyst Views on the subject over the past two years covering the applications mentioned above, discussing methanol’s environmental credentials and the potential to generate renewable methanol, and most recently the work by Danish company Serenergy which was demonstrating the potential for methanol to power range extenders for small battery electric city cars. The major automotive OEMs however have not shown interest in the technology for many years, instead focussing on compressed hydrogen storage in combination with low-temperature fuel cells; that is until earlier this year.