Fueled by cells

Published: Thursday 15 August 1996

British scientists have developed a new range of fuel cells, regarded as viable alternatives to the currently used petrol engines in automobiles. These direct methanol fuel cells, developed by researchers at the Newcastle University in north eastern England, are electrochemical systems that convert chemical energy into electricity. Methanol and steam are diverted to the cell's positive electrode -- the anode, while air is fed into the negative electrode -- the cathode. The result is electricity and waste in the form of carbon dioxide and water. Scientists claim that the new cells are efficient at all vehicular speeds, and there are no noxious emissions.

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