Fuel cells have received worldwide research interest as a promising energy conversion technology in the last decades, primarily due to their simple system design, high conversion efficiency, low carbon dioxide emissions as well as quick fuel refueling. Currently, hydrogen fuel cells are widely studied and preliminarily commercialized. However, realizing the widespread application of hydrogen fuel cells requires addressing the production, transportation, and storage of hydrogen.

A new study about a novel fuel cell system design using ethylene glycol as fuel and hydrogen peroxide as oxidant, reported by Mr Zhefei Pan, a PhD student of Department of Mechanical Engineering, and Dr Liang An, an Assistant Professor of Department of Mechanical Engineering, was recently published in International Journal of Energy Research and selected to be featured as the front cover. Theoretically, this fuel cell exhibits a theoretical voltage as high as 2.47 V, while it is experimentally demonstrated that the hybrid fuel cell delivers an open‐circuit voltage of 1.41 V at 60°C. More impressively, this fuel cell yields a peak power density of 80.9 mW cm−2, boosting the peak power density by 20.8% as compared to the fuel cell using oxygen (67 mW cm−2). This novel design is a promising application for situations where oxygen is not sufficient, such as underwater and outer space.

Read more at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/er.4176. Z.F. Pan, B. Huang, L. An, Performance of a hybrid direct ethylene glycol fuel cell, International Journal of Energy Research 43 (2019) 2583-2591.