Nissan announced the development of the world’s first SOFC-powered vehicle system that runs on bio-ethanol electric power.
7/22/16 5:00 am chumakdenis 1
Japanese automaker Nissan is a true high flyer: despite worldwide success of Nissan Leaf, the company intends to make its eco-friendly vehicles even better.
Of course, Li-ion batteries are good, but they are not perfect.
No one is.
So, the company decided to start its own research project with the purpose of developing Solid Oxide Fuel-Cell (SOFC)-powered systems that run on bio-ethanol –kind of crazy idea, isn’t it?
Well, even though it sounds quite crazy, after several months of research the company came up with something worth attention – we are still hella far from ready-made solutions, but the company didn’t fell in the mud and put its best foot forward for.
The new system— a world’s first for automotive use—features an e-Bio Fuel-Cell with an SOFC power generator. SOFC is a fuel cell utilizing the reaction of multiple fuels, including ethanol and natural gas, with oxygen to produce electricity with high efficiency.
It’s a similar concept to the hydrogen fuel cell, just with ethanol (or ethanol-blended with water) to generate electricity with an electric motor propelling the wheels.
About e-Bio Fuel-Cell
The e-Bio Fuel Cell generates electricity through the SOFC (power generator) using bio-ethanol stored in the vehicle. The e-Bio Fuel-Cell utilizes hydrogen transformed from fuel via a reformer and atmospheric oxygen, with the subsequent electrochemical reaction producing electricity to power the vehicle.
Unlike conventional systems, e-Bio Fuel-Cell features SOFC as its power source, affording greater power efficiency to give the vehicle cruising ranges similar to gasoline-powered cars (more than 380 miles).
Additionally, the e-Bio Fuel-Cell car’s distinct electric-drive features including silent drive, linear start-up and brisk acceleration, allow users to enjoy the joys and comfort of a pure electric vehicle.
No harmful byproducts
Fuel-cell systems use chemicals that react with oxygen, generating power without release of harmful byproducts.
Bio-ethanol fuels, including those sourced from sugarcane and corn, are widely available in countries in North and South America, and Asia.
The e-Bio Fuel-Cell, using bio-ethanol, can offer eco-friendly transportation and create opportunities in regional energy production, while supporting existing infrastructure.
Process of neutralization
When power is generated in a fuel-cell system, CO2 is usually emitted.
With the bio-ethanol system, CO2 emissions are neutralized from the growing process of sugarcane , making up the bio-fuel, allowing it to have a “Carbon-Neutral Cycle,” with nearly no CO2 increase whatsoever.
The Future of e-Bio Fuel-Cell
In the foreseeable future, the e-Bio Fuel-Cell will become even more user-friendly.
Ethanol-blended water is easier and safer to handle than most other fuels.
As this will remove limits on creating a totally new infrastructure, it has great potential for market growth.
Running costs will be remarkably low—on par with up-to-date electric vehicles, ultimately benefitting the public as well as businesses due to the fact that the e-Bio Fuel-Cell is an ideal fit for wider customer needs because of the short refueling time and ample power supply that can support a range of services such as refrigerated delivery.
Zero-emission society awaits us
The e-Bio Fuel-Cell will realize the concept of “Nissan Intelligent Power,” promoting greater efficiency and electrification of cars and the joys of driving, alongside EVs, such as the “Nissan Leaf”, “Nissan e-NV200,” and “e-Power,” which is equipped with an engine housing an exclusive large-capacity motor and power generator.
“Nissan will continue to provide value to its customers by incorporating systems that enable the extraction of electric power from various fuels, while addressing the infrastructure issues tied to energy supply in every region of the world.”