IUPUI receives $599,985 NSF grant to address challenges of ethanol fuel cell technology

  • Aug. 7, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS -- As societies advance, they will continue to need energy to power homes, businesses, industry, transportation and other vital services. Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis recently received a $599,985 grant from the National Science Foundation to address the challenges of producing energy devices and fuel sources using anion-exchange-membrane direct ethanol fuel cell technology, or AEM-DEFC.


The current low temperature fuel cell technology faces challenges of high material and system costs. The AEM-DEFC technology offers efficiency and cost and stability advantages over the current technology, which allows for the production of more energy with less expensive materials. The new less expensive technology also has greater safety and portability because of its use of bio-ethanol, which can result in a wide range of marketable applications and fuel types.


For instance, AEM-DEFCs have great potential to replace combustion-powered generators and rechargeable batteries for remote military operations and portable electronic applications because of their high efficiency, portability, low detection, no battery recharge and low cost.


“The timely development of efficient, durable and cost-effective AEM-DEFCs is imperative to meeting current and future energy demands while reducing operating costs and military vulnerability through locally sourced bio-fuels,” said David Russomanno, dean of the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI. “Without NSF's support, it would have been difficult to continue researching AEM-DEFC technologies.”


The NSF grant will allow IUPUI to work with its many partners to develop AEM-DEFC component materials, fuel sources and marketing strategies for its commercialization. The grant is effective July 15, 2013, through June 30, 2015.


About Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI:


The mission of the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI is to be one of the best urban university leaders in the disciplines of engineering and technology recognized locally, nationally and internationally. The school’s goal is to provide students an education that will give them the leverage to be leaders in their communities, industry and society.

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