DTI Energy Inc.

exclusive worldwide licensor of patented DMFC -- Direct Methanol Fuel Cell -- Technology

DTI Energy, Inc. -- exclusive worldwide licensor of DMFC technology

DTI Energy, Inc. (“DTI”), a California corporation based in Los Angeles, has acquired the exclusive worldwide licensing rights to patented Direct Methanol Fuel Cell, DMFC, technology.

A proven technology, DMFC has been heralded as the power source of the future. Fuel cells produce electricity from potential chemical energy without combustion, through an electrochemical process that combines oxygen and hydrogen to produce electricity, heat, and water. Unlike other types of fuel cells (like generic Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cells) which require pure hydrogen as a fuel, Direct Methanol Fuel Cells enable this electrochemical process without the need to reform complex hydrocarbon fuel molecules (including methanol) into pure hydrogen.

The DMFC technology licensed by DTI is protected by a patent estate consisting of more than 75 patents and patent applications in the United States, Japan, Europe, China, Australia, Brazil, Canada and Israel. If you are interested in obtaining a license to this patented DMFC technology, please contact us

 

Direct Methanol Fuel Cells -- the power source of the future!

about DTI Energy

History

In1993, Todd Marsh, CEO of DTI Energy Inc. met with researchers at California Institute of Technology and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The meeting was initiated by a local congressman who was investigating ways to help laid off aerospace employees. Mr. Marsh realized the potential for the fuel cell technologies being developed as a collaboration between JPL, the California Institute of Technology and the University of Souther California and obtained an exclusive worldwide license.

DMFC proves more reliable than liquid hydrogen fuel cells

The Direct Methanol Fuel Cell, DMFC, technology developed under the supervision of Dr. Rao Surumpudi supervisor of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology's electrochemical-technology group is the basis for the patents and license for which DTI Energy has control. Dr Surumpudi's revolutionary thinking in this process was that a fuel cell that converts methanol directly into electrictiy (Direct Methanol Fuel Cells) without a reformer, would be simpler, cheaper and more reliable than liquid hydrogen or methanol and reformer based fuel cells

DARPA mandate yields Direct Methanol Fuel Cell technology

The initial thinking about Direct Methanol Fuel Cell, DMFC, technology came out of a mandate by Dr. Lawrence H. DuBois of the Department of Defense and the Defense Advance Research Project Agency to develop fuel cells that could operate on liquid hydrocarbons. Additionally, the DFMC, Direct Methanol Fuel Cell, technology that DTI Energy Inc. has the exclusive rights to, builds on the scientific research of Nobel laureate Dr. George A. Olah of the University of Southern California's Loker Hydrocarbon Institute and his colleague Dr. Surya Prakesh. Of DMFC, Direct Methanol Fuel Cell, technology, Dr. Olah has said, "this invention also has vast potential improve the environment by providing clean energy in portable form."

board of directors

The board of directors of DTI Energy Inc. serves to steer and direct the business in the best practices with regard to Direct Methanol Fuel Cell technology and it's uses.

more to follow...

location

If you are interested in contacting us to explore Direct Methanol Fuel Cell, DMFC, technology licensing, you can send inquires to:

DTI Energy, Inc.
Attn:   DMFC Licensing
1441 4th St.
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Alternatively, if you wish to call us in regard to licensing DMFC technology or if you have any questions regarding DMFC technology please feel free to call our main number:   (323) 930-0111

Or, you may send us a facsimile (FAX) with Direct Methanol Fuel Cell technology questions or DMFC licensing requests to: (323) 930-0980

Email requests for DMFC technology questions or licensing inquires may be sent to:   info@dtienergy.com

 

DMFC history

Fuel cells have been around for over 150 years. Sir William Robert Grove conceived the first fuel cell In 1839.   Sir Grove was a Welsh gentleman, scientist and judge.   His fuel cell used porous platinum electrodes and sulfuric acid as the electrolyte bath. His mixture of hydrogen and oxygen in the presence an electrolyte produced electricity and water. Unfortunately, his invention didn't produce enough electricity to be useful.

In 1889, Ludwig Mond and his assistant Charles Langer, attempted to build a working fuel cell using air and industrial coal gas.

DMFC History -- Sir William Robert Grove

Sir William Robert Grove

 

Around that time, a fuel cell constructed by William White Jaques (who incidentally coined the term fuel cell), substituted phosphoric acid in the electrolyte bath.

In the 1920s, fuel cell research in Germany paved the way to the development of the carbonate cycle and solid oxide fuel cells of today.

In 1932, Dr. Francis T. Bacon made a significant contribution to fuel research.   Early cell designers used porous platinum electrodes and sulfuric acid as the electrolyte bath. Using platinum was expensive and using sulfuric acid was corrosive.   Bacon used an inexpensive nickel electrode and a less corrosive alkaline electrolyte.    It took Bacon until 1959 to perfect his design and demonstrated a five-kilowatt fuel cell that could power a welding machine.   Francis T. Bacon, a direct descendent of the other well known Francis Bacon, named his famous fuel cell design the "Bacon Cell."

In October of 1959, Harry Karl Ihrig, an engineer for the Allis - Chalmers Manufacturing Company, demonstrated a 20-horsepower tractor that was the first vehicle ever powered by a fuel cell.

During the early 1960s, General Electric produced the fuel-cell-based electrical power system for NASA's Gemini and Apollo space capsules. General Electric used the principles found in the "Bacon Cell" as the basis of its design. Today, the Space Shuttle's electricity is provided by fuel cells, and the same fuel cells provide drinking water for the crew.

Dr. Lawrence H. DuBois of the U.S. Department of Defense and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) envisioned the development of a fuel cell that could operate on various types of liquid hydrocarbons (methanol, ethanol, etc.,).   He called on Dr. Surya Prakash a world-renowned super acid specialist and Nobel laureate Dr. George A. Olah, both of the University of Southern California's Loker Hydrocarbon Institute to invent such a fuel cell. USC, in a collaborative effort with Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) / California Institute of Technology (CIT) proceeded to invent the direct oxidation of liquid hydrocarbons subsequently coined as DMFC, Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Technology.

DTI acquired the exclusive worldwide license for Direct Oxidation of Liquid Hydrocarbons, DMFC Technology.   DTI's President and CEO, Todd Marsh, saw the future impact that a clean alternative to fossil fuels was being born and offered to steward this technology and help commercialize it.  

DMFC technology has become widely accepted as a viable fuel cell technology that offers itself to many applications.

Direct Methanol Fuel Cells -- a clean alternative to fossil fuels!

licensing

exclusive worldwide licensing rights to patented DMFC technology held by DTI Energy Inc.

DTI Energy, Inc. ("DTI"), a California corporation based in Los Angeles, has acquired the exclusive worldwide licensing rights to patented Direct Methanol Fuel Cell, DMFC, technology.

A proven technology, DMFC has been heralded as the power source of the future. Direct Methanol Fuel Cells produce electricity from potential chemical energy without combustion, through an electrochemical process that combines oxygen and hydrogen to produce electricity, heat, and water. Unlike other types of fuel cells (like generic Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cells) which require pure hydrogen as a fuel, Direct Methanol Fuel Cells (DMFC) enable this electrochemical process without the need to reform complex hydrocarbon fuel molecules (including methanol) into pure hydrogen.

The DMFC technology licensed by DTI is protected by a patent estate consisting of more than 75 patents and patent applications in the United States, Japan, Europe, China, Australia, Brazil, Canada and Israel. The patents include U.S. Patent No. 5,599,638 and U.S. Patent No. 6,248,460, as well as the patents and counterpart patents and patent applications in countries such as Japan, Europe, China, Australia, Brazil, Canada and Israel.

A detailed list of patents is available upon request.

links

As a member of the Fuel Cell community we feel it is important to share news and information about DMFC, Direct Methanol Fuel Cell, technology and DMFC related issues.

http://www.fuelcelltoday.com Fuel Cell Today --The global internet portal for companies and individuals with an interest in the commercialization of fuel cells.  Contains News, Reports and Events information.

http://www.h2fc.com The Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Investors Newsletter -- H2fc.com offers current news and independent analysis of the fuel cell sector in addition to industry links, technology information, government pages and forums.

http://www.aqmd.gov Air Quality Management District -- Site devoted to the South Coast Air Quality Management District that contains information regarding efforts to promote clean air.  Contains detailed organizational information as well as Business Resources, Education and Emission Reporting.

uses of DMFC, Direct Methanol Fuel Cell, technology

endless possibilities for DMFC

Direct Methanol Fuel Cell technology (DMFC) can be applied in a variety of products.   Obviously, our environment would benefit from fuel cell powered cars and buses.   There is an equal or greater demand for clean efficient energy in many other applications.   Lawnmowers, weed whips, chain saws, snow and leaf blowers, and jet skis can all be converted to DMFC, Direct Methanol Fuel Cell technology.   Marine applications such as boats, tankers, luxury liners and at-sea platforms have significant power needs. Micro fuel cells, using DMFC, Direct Methanol Fuel Cell technology, in cellular phones, laptop computers and portable electronics will provide longer usability.   Wastewater treatment plants and landfills are using direct methanol fuel cells to convert the methane gas they produce into electricity. The possibilities are endless.

stationary applications of DMFC

The opportunities and demand for Direct Methanol Fuel Cells in stationary applications are extraordinary. More than 2500 fuel cell systems have been installed all over the world -- in hospitals, nursing homes, hotels, office buildings, schools, utility power plants, and airport terminals, providing primary or backup power. Every country on Earth has stationary power and consumer electronics needs. Producing immediate stationary, decentralized power by using Direct Methanol Fuel Cell technology for absolutely every electrical need, makes sense not only logistically, but also monetarily. In large-scale building systems, fuel cells can reduce energy costs by 20% to 40% over conventional energy service.   Additionally, DMFCs are an excellent choice for backup power needs such as UPS and APU devices.

residential applications of DMFC

Developing nations need reliable power in their cities, villages, and homes. Direct Methanol Fuel Cells are ideal for power generation, either connected to the electric grid to provide supplemental power and backup assurance for critical areas, or installed as a grid-independent generator for on-site service in areas that are inaccessible by power lines.   The average home operates on two to three kilowatts per day for all its electrical needs.   The refrigerator runs twenty-four hours per day to prevent food spoilage and uses power accordingly.   Small stand-alone, seven to ten kilowatt per hour DMFC generators emit no pollutants as a byproduct and can be used to provide hot water or space heating for a home.

transportation applications of DMFC

All the major automotive manufacturers have a fuel cell vehicle either in development or in testing right now.   Honda and Toyota have already begun leasing vehicles in California and Japan.   Automakers and experts speculate that the DMFC fuel cell vehicles will be widely commercialized by 2010.   Direct Methanol Fuel Cell technology, DMFC, is being incorporated into buses, trains, scooters and golf carts on a faster time line.

portable power ppplications of DMFC

Possibly the most wide spread uses of Direct Methanol Fuel Cell technology, DMFC, are in the area of portable power.   Also known as Micro Fuel Cells, Direct Methanol Fuel Cells, DMFC, will change the telecommuting world, powering laptops and palm pilots hours longer than batteries and allowing up to a month of talk time on a cellular phone. Other applications for micro DMFC fuel cells include pagers, video recorders, portable power tools, and low power remote devices such as hearing aids, smoke detectors, burglar alarms, hotel locks and meter readers.

Landfill/Wastewater Treatment using DMFC

Direct Methanol Fuel Cells, DMFC, currently operate at landfills and wastewater treatment plants across the country, proving themselves as a valid technology for reducing emissions and generating power from the methane gas they produce.

Marine Applications of DMFC

Luxury liners and tankers can power themselves across the oceans using DMFC, Direct Methanol Fuel Cell, technology to power all their on-ship needs from the "engine room" --which will likely be renamed the "energy room"--to kitchen, bath, staterooms, laundry rooms and so on.   Yachts and fishing boats can have on-board power for creature comforts (hair dryers, a/c and heating) without the dreadful noise and fumes of combustion generators.   Furthermore, the use of methanol, a biodegradable fuel, will rescue our oceans from the pollution caused by the dumping of other fuels.

pedigree

The DMFC technology that DTI Energy Inc. has the exclusive worldwide liscense to has a prestigious history.

more to follow...

 

how Direct Methanol Fuel Cells (DMFC) work

Introduction

A Direct Methanol Fuel Cell, DMFC, works by creating thermodynamic potential out of the chemical reaction between methanol and air in a specific manner. Without the aid of moving parts, Direct Methanol Fuel Cells produce electricity through an electrochemical process, without combustion and without the need to reform the fuel stock into hydrogen or expose hydrogen in a gaseous state to the Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM).   The advantage of a Direct Methanol Fuel Cell, DMFC, over a tradition battery is that a Direct Methanol Fuel Cell can simply be refilled with more fuel when it runs out. a fuel cell is an energy- producing device while a battery is an energy- storing device.   Direct Methanol Fuel Cells only require externally added fuel to run.   As long as fuel and air are supplied to the DMFC, it will continue to produce power.   It does not need to be recharged.

The Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Process

The thermodynamic potential is created through the use of a polymer electrolyte membrane that allows only certain chemical species to pass through it. On one side of this membrane, a methanol and water mixture is fed to an anode catalyst that separates the methanol molecule into hydrogen atoms and carbon dioxide. The separated hydrogen atoms are then typically stripped of their electron, and passed through the membrane to the cathode side of the cell. At the cathode catalyst, the protons (hydrogen atoms without an electron) react with the oxygen in air to form water minus an electron. By connecting a conductive wire from the anode to the cathode side, the electrons stripped from the hydrogen atoms on the anode side can travel to the cathode side and combine with the electron deficient species.

From a thermodynamic perspective, the electrons "want" to travel to the cathode side a specific "amount," that can be quantified as the open circuit voltage. The open circuit voltage is measured with a voltmeter across the cell set to an extremely high resistance. The thermodynamic favoring of reacting the methanol and O 2 into carbon dioxide and water forces a difference in energy to build across the membrane until the system reaches equilibrium. Once this level is reached the components stop reacting, and no additional useful energy is produced.

Useful energy is produced by lowering the voltage across the membrane below the equilibrium value. This is done by placing a resistance on the wire connecting the two sides that is weak enough that current can flow through it. The smaller the voltage difference that is imposed on the fuel cell in this manner, the more current is produced until a proton transport rate limit is reached, after which no additional energy is produced.

The overall reaction occurring in the DMFC is the same as that for the direct combustion of methanol,

i.e; CH 3 OH + 3/2O 2 CO 2 + 2H 2 O

Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC) schematic of operating principles

The figure above shows a schematic of the operating principles of fuel cell utilizing methanol as fuel, i.e., a Direct Methanol Fuel Cell, DMFC,. When providing current, methanol is electrochemically oxidized at the anode electrocatalyst to produce electrons which travel through the external circuit to the cathode electrocatalyst where they are consumed together with oxygen in a reduction reaction. The circuit is maintained within the cell by the conduction of protons in the electrolyte.

 

Byproducts of DMFCs

The job of the fuel cell is to convert the chemical energy of a fuel directly into electrical current without burning it.   Unlike internal combustion engines there is no combustion process; therefore no airborne pollutants are generated. The only "exhaust" or by-product of this exchange is pure water and some carbon dioxide (CO 2 ). Unlike other fuel cell technologies, DMFC, Direct Methanol Fuel Cell, technology produces no carbon monoxide or other particulates such as oxides of nitrogen (NOX), oxides of sulfur (SOX) or reactive organic gases (ROG).   In lay terms, the total approximate amount of carbon dioxide is half of what is currently generated by combustion engines.   Thus, the effect on our planet of utilizing the DMFC and methanol for energy production is profound.

Advantages of DMFC over other fuel cells

In terms of the amount of electricity generated, a Direct Methanol Fuel Cell, DMFC, can currently generate 300-500 milliwatts per centimeter squared.   The area of the cell size and the number of cells stacked together will provide the necessary power generation for whatever the watt and kilowatt needs are for vehicular and stationary applications.  

The liquid fuel design of Direct Methanol Fuel Cells has numerous system-level advantages over the gas fuel or reformer design fuel cells.   A Direct Methanol Fuel Cell, DMFC,:

  • Eliminates the fuel vaporizer or "reformer"
  • Eliminates high pressures and temperatures. DMFC operate effectively at room temperature and pressures under 20 psi.
  • Eliminates the complex water and thermal management systems that are needed to maintain the equilibrium of temperature and pressures in the reformer type fuel cells.

This in turn,

  • Eliminates the need for inner heating and cooling plates.
  • Eliminates the humidification process of reformer technology without which membranes dry up and crack.   The liquid state of Direct Methanol Fuel Cells provides a constant bath for the membranes.
  • Significantly lowers system size and weight, due in large part to the elimination of the reformer, a costly, complex space hog.
  • DMFCs use bi-plates that can be made out of non-metallic lightweight, flexible materials that are significantly lower in cost than metallic materials.

 

press

Much has been written about DMFC (Direct Methanol Fuel Cells) and DTI Energy Inc.

DTI Energy Inc. the exclusive worldwide licensor of the patented Direct Methanol Fuel Cell technology has gotten a lot of notice in the press.   Feel free to read through these articles on DTI and Direct Methanol Fuel Cell, DMFC, technology:

  • "The Methanol Economy" C&EN
  • "Entrepreneur Drives to Sell Workable Substitute for Gas" The Wall Street Journal
  • "DTI Energy Doing Hard Sell on Environment-Friendly Fuel Cells" Los Angeles Times
  • "Clean fuel-cell technology holds promise" Pasadena Star-News
  • "New Fuel Cell shows promise for zero-emission vehicles" Jet Propulsion Laboratory press release
  • "Direct Methanol Liquid-Feed Fuel Cell" Techtransfer (JPL)

Additionally, DTI has been asked to speak at symposia around the world as experts in the Direct Methanol Fuel Cell technology arena.   Here are some of the transcripts from various talks we have given.

  • "The Direct Methanol Fuel Cell" -- Address to the Remote Gas Utilization Conference,   London, England by Todd Marsh President and CEO of DTI Energy

 

DTI Energy Inc, the exclusive worldwide licensor of the patented Direct Methanol Fuel Cell technology

 

contact us

We look forward to hearing from you.    If you are interested in contacting us to explore Direct Methanol Fuel Cell, DMFC, technology licensing, you can send inquires to:

DTI Energy, Inc.
Attn:   DMFC Licensing
1441 4th St.
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Alternatively, if you wish to call us in regard to licensing DMFC technology or if you have any questions regarding DMFC technology please feel free to call our main number:   (323) 930-0111

Or, you may send us a facsimile (FAX) with Direct Methanol Fuel Cell technology questions or DMFC licensing requests to: (323) 930-0980

Email requests for DMFC technology questions or licensing inquires may be sent to:   info@dtienergy.com

 

 

©2003 DTI Energy Inc. All information on this site pertaining to Direct Methanol Fuel Cell, DMFC, micro fuel cell technology is copyrighted to DTI Energy Inc. Please contact us for licensing information or if you have any questions regarding DMFC