Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. shared some data on a unique fuel cell known as a Solid Oxide Fuel-Cell (SOFC). The technology runs on bio-ethanol electric power, with an e-Bio Fuel-Cell and an SOFC power generator.
This is a first for the automotive industry.
How It Works
Nissan’s SOFC harnesses a variety of fuels, like ethanol and natural gas, with oxygen to create electricity.
The e-Bio Fuel Cell generates electricity through the SOFC (power generator) using stored bio-ethanol. The e-Bio Fuel-Cell uses hydrogen, transformed from fuel, via a reformer and atmospheric oxygen. The subsequent electrochemical reaction produces electricity, which powers the vehicle.
The technology provides cursing ranges similar to a gasoline car.
Nissan’s fuel-cell technology uses chemicals that react with oxygen, eliminating harmful byproducts. When a fuel cell generates power, CO2 is usually emitted, but with the bio-ethanol system, CO2 is neutralized through the sugarcane in the bio-fuel.
This makes for a “Carbon-Neutral Cycle,” with little CO2 increase. Bio fuels, like ethanol-blended water, are much safer than gasoline as well.
Nissan believes they will help the economy, since bio-ethanol fuels are readily available in North and South America and Asia. With the further use of bio-ethanol, Nissan is hoping opportunities for more regional energy production will arise.
Nissan is ultimately pushing for zero-emission, zero-fatality driving through an increase in capability, safety, and electrification. The automaker’s “Intelligent Mobility” campaign is focused on redefining the ways cars are powered and driven. The e-Bio Fuel-Cell builds on “Nissan Intelligent Power,” a similar philosophy of greater efficiency matched with enjoyable driving.
Nissan is hoping these technologies will usher in safer, more eco-friendly automobiles, while addressing infrastructure issues as they relate to energy supplies around the world.
Pretty advanced stuff indeed.
*Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan.