Standard Article

Field experience with portable DMFC products

Advances in Electrocatalysis, Materials, Diagnostics and Durability

Performance degradation

Low-temperature fuel cells

  1. J. Müller

Published Online: 15 DEC 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470974001.f500060

Handbook of Fuel Cells

Handbook of Fuel Cells

How to Cite

Müller, J. 2010. Field experience with portable DMFC products. Handbook of Fuel Cells. .

Author Information

  1. SFC Smart Fuel Cell AG, Brunnthal, Germany

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2010


Direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) systems and their user acceptance have a critical pioneering role in the developing fuel cell markets. This article focuses on commercial aspects of early markets for DMFC products, selection criteria why these markets were chosen, and customer benefits. Then, the process of matching customer requirements with technical capabilities of state-of-the-art DMFC systems is described. The frequently discussed technical challenges of DMFC technology (e.g., methanol crossover) are reviewed and discussed in light of real-world experience on thousands of DMFC systems globally. An important result is that the focus of many scientific research projects is quite different from realties in the marketplace. It is concluded that better alignment of academic research with industrial needs is required in order to advance fuel cell technology further. Next, degradation mechanisms in real-world applications are reviewed and compared with known degradation mechanisms under laboratory conditions. Again, significant discrepancies occur, which must be addressed by any company attempting to sell fuel cell systems commercially.


  • DMFC;
  • product;
  • field experience;
  • reliability