Nissan developing bio-ethanol fuel-cell system

In a claimed first for the automotive sector, engineers at Nissan in Japan are developing developing a Solid Oxide Fuel-Cell (SOFC)-powered system that runs on bio-ethanol electric power.

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The new system features an e-Bio Fuel-Cell with an SOFC power generator. SOFC is a fuel cell utilising the reaction of multiple fuels, including ethanol and natural gas, with oxygen to produce electricity with high efficiency.

The e-Bio Fuel Cell generates electricity through the SOFC (power generator) using bio-ethanol stored in the vehicle. The e-Bio Fuel-Cell utilises hydrogen transformed from fuel via a reformer and atmospheric oxygen, with the subsequent electrochemical reaction producing electricity to power the vehicle.

Fuel-cell systems use chemicals that react with oxygen, generating power without release of harmful byproducts.

Bio-ethanol fuels, including those sourced from sugarcane and corn, are widely available in countries in North and South America, and Asia. The e-Bio Fuel-Cell, using bio-ethanol, can offer eco-friendly transportation and create opportunities in regional energy production, while supporting existing infrastructure.

Nissan claims that the system is carbon neutral, as CO2 emissions are neutralised from the growing process of sugarcane.