RFA Publication Highlights Potential Synergies for Ethanol, Fuel Cells

The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) has released a white paper highlighting the potential synergies for ethanol and fuel cells.

Washington, D.C. – September 5, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] Ethanol is easily stored and dispensed in the current fueling system and generates fewer greenhouse gas-forming emissions than conventional fuels. Tests have demonstrated that ethanol is more efficient to reform than gasoline to provide hydrogen for fuel cells. “Fuel cells will clearly play an important role in providing electricity and powering vehicles in the near future,” said Bob Dinneen, RFA president. “In the search for hydrogen to power these new fuel cells, only ethanol combines the ability to utilize the existing fuel distribution infrastructure with the safety and environmentally-friendly attributes that consumers are increasingly demanding. Clearly, fuel cells represent an important new market for renewable ethanol.” According to the paper: “Ethanol is a renewable resource that is playing an increasingly important role in assuring the nation’s air quality, improving the economic security of America’s farming communities, and addressing the challenges of homeland energy security. Similarly, fuel cells are a promising technology for efficiently and cleanly powering vehicles, homes, offices, and commercial buildings. And miniature fuel cells could someday replace laptop batteries. “Both the ethanol and fuel cell markets are the focus of major investments in technology, production, and market development. But little attention has been paid to the combination of these two powerful developments. In fact, there are major benefits that can be achieved by relatively minor shifts in focus of existing development paths to recognize and capitalize on the broad synergies that come from using ethanol to power fuel cells.”
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