Faculty at UMD are engaged in many aspects of fuel cell research and development including:
- Microbial fuel cells - a bio-electrochemical system that uses bacteria as the catalyst to oxidize organic and inorganic matter, and consequently, generate electric current. Applications include power generation systems, bio-recovery, waste-water treatment, etc.
- Polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) Fuel Cells - deliver high power density and offer the advantages of low weight and volume compared with other fuel cells. PEM fuel cells use a solid polymer as an electrolyte and porous carbon electrodes containing a platinum or platinum alloy catalyst.
- Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs) - use a hard, non-porous ceramic compound as the electrolyte. SOFCs operate at very high temperatures which removes the need for precious-metal catalyst, thereby reducing cost.
University Spin-Offs in Fuel Cell Technology
- Alchemity - Alchemity is developing technologies and applications in the energy industry using ion-conducting ceramics, from electric power through advanced solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) to Fuels & Chemicals through integrated catalytic membrane reactors.