Bio-ethanol electric-powered fuel cells – ‘world first’ from Nissan

Nissan has announced that it is developing a solid oxide fuel-cell (SOFC)-powered system that runs on bio-ethanol electric power – a world first for automotive use.

The new system features an e-Bio fuel-cell, which generates electricity through the SOFC (power generator) using bio-ethanol stored in the vehicle.

The e-Bio fuel-cell uses hydrogen transformed from fuel via a reformer and atmospheric oxygen, with the subsequent electrochemical reaction producing electricity to power the vehicle.

By using the SOFC as its power source, says Nissan, it gives the vehicle cruising ranges similar to gasoline-powered cars (more than 600km).

The company also predicts that this new technology has significant potential, notably for refrigerated deliveries, with running costs said to be similar to today’s electric vehicles and short refuelling times.

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