New biofuel cell will take over-the-counter alcohol


Wired reports that researchers from St. Louis University have created a new fuel cell that is able to take alcohol and turn it into power.

For those who follow fuel cell developments, this would be a completely uninteresting story, except that it doesn't require the use of methanol, like previous fuel cells, but instead can work with ethanol (found in run-of-the- mill alcoholic drinks).

Researchers say that it doesn't like carbonated beer or wine, but most hard liquor does very well.

Using enzymes to help catalyze the reaction, they have managed to sustain a reaction in the fuel cell for over two months now, with no end in sight. This is the real feat here, since most biofuel cells have stopped after just a few days.

I found more info in an article at Fuel Cell Today, and in a press release from the University dated March 24, 2003.