Earlier this month the Eguchi Laboratory at Kyoto University announced advances in ammonia-fueled solid oxide fuel cell technology. The lab was able to produce a functioning fuel cell with a power output of one kilowatt. The device attained “direct current power generation efficiency” in excess of 50% and reached 1,000 hours of continuous operation.
At ARPA-E's recent Energy Innovation Summit in Washington, DC, Program Director Grigorii Soloveichik presented his vision for the future of transportation: hybrid electric vehicles that combine the advantages of both plug-in battery and fuel cell technologies.
This "optimal solution" will require a new generation of fuel cell that is "fast, furious, and flexible." Fast, in terms of start-up / shut-down time. Furious, in terms of energy density. And flexible, in terms of fuel choice - specifically sustainable liquid fuels, like ammonia.
New research, recently published in the International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, demonstrates that solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) systems fueled with ammonia could be "more efficient than equivalent hydrogen-based" systems.
This new paper comes out of the Fuel Cell Lab at the University of Perugia, in Italy, and builds upon years of research coming out of that laboratory on the use of ammonia and urea in fuel cells.