Standard Article

Direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC)

Fundamentals and Survey of Systems

Fuel cell principles, systems and applications

  1. A. Hamnett

Published Online: 15 DEC 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470974001.f104017

Handbook of Fuel Cells

Handbook of Fuel Cells

How to Cite

Hamnett, A. 2010. Direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC). Handbook of Fuel Cells. .

Author Information

  1. University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2010


The basic principles of operation of the direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) are described, and ways in which this cell can be realized in practice reviewed. There are several serious problems that currently make it difficult to fabricate practical DMFCs; these include poor performance at both anode and cathode, degradation of the commonly used poly1fluorosulphonic acid membranes and permeation of methanol from anode to cathode cell compartments. Approaches to each of these problems are enumerated, and molecular insights and recent experimental data are brought together to provide an up-to-date account of the DMFC and its prospects.


  • fuel cell;
  • methanol;
  • platinum anode;
  • platinum/ruthenium anode;
  • methanol oxidation mechanism;
  • oxygen reduction;
  • ternary sulfide catalysts;
  • perfluoro-sulfonic acid membrane;
  • Nafion;
  • performance characteristics