A high-power carbohydrate fuel cell

Ragnar Larsson, B Folkesson, PM Spaziante, W Veerasai, RHB Exell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (SciVal)


This paper reports the development of a fuel cell consisting of a vanadium flow battery in which the vanadium ions are reduced by sugar (from a carbohydrate) to oxidation state +3 on one side of a membrane, and are oxidized to state +5 on the other side by oxygen. The theoretical upper limit to the conversion efficiency of the energy in sugar by this method under standard conditions is 54%. We have obtained efficiencies up to 45% in our laboratory tests. This way of using biomass for electricity production avoids the Carnot cycle losses in heat engines. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)549-552
JournalRenewable Energy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Chemical Engineering


  • biomass conversion
  • fuel cell
  • flow battery
  • carbohydrate
  • sugar
  • vanadium


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