The SFC fuel cell technology

Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC)

The direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) has recently garnered tremendous attention due to its unique qualities – high energy density, ease of liquid fuel storage, low operating simplified system construction and minimal mission. (1) But what exactly is a DMFC? We explain this and more in the following article.

What are Direct Methanol Fuel Cells (DMFC)?

The DMFC fuel cell is a technological marvel that is lightweight, powerful and long-lasting. These fuel cells are based on the liquid fuel DMFC technology, which uses direct methanol as the fuel to create electricity. DMFCs are the market leader in fuel cell systems for off-grid and mobile applications such as Mission Critical Communication, Information Technology, Optronics, Sensors and Auxiliary Power.

Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC) Working Principle:

The DMFC’s design is a lot like that of a battery. It has two electrodes separated by a membrane: an anode and a cathode. When coupled with oxygen, the methanol fuel cell transforms the fuel (methanol) to energy, hence the name. The sole by-products of combustion are heat, water and a trace quantity of CO2.

How is energy generated by direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs)?

  • Methanol and water react electrochemically (the methanol is oxidised) at the anode to form carbon dioxide, protons and electrons.
  • Protons are generated at the anode flow through the polymer electrolyte to the cathode, where they react with oxygen to produce water.
  • The electrons created at the anode carry the free energy change of the chemical reaction and travel through the external circuit, where they are used to generate electricity. (2)

What are the benefits of DMFCs?

DMFC fuel cells benefits essentially boil down to the advantages of methanol as a fuel over hydrogen:

  • Methanol is easy to transport, store and use

Storing methanol is easier than hydrogen storage since it does not require high pressures or low temperatures.(3) Because it is a liquid, like gasoline, methanol is easier to transport and use. It is also less expensive, more readily available from renewable and non-renewable sources and connects to the active sites on the fuel cell bed more easily.

  • Direct Methanol Fuel Cells generate cleaner energy

The best thing about this is that the fuel cell system can utilise all by-products (except the CO2) of this reaction. The heat can be used for space heating and cooling. The water vapour as the feed-stock for more hydrogen, while the electricity can be channeled into an external circuit. The DMFC’s combination of high fuel efficiency and exceptionally low emissions places it in a class of its own.

  • Higher durability of Direct Methanol Fuel Cells

Direct methanol fuel cells – like all fuel cells – do not have any moving parts. As a result, they not only run more silently than combustion engines or gas turbines, but also have minimal mechanical friction and slight wear. Low maintenance requirements result in less downtime and, as a result, lower long-term operational costs.

The EFOY fuel cartridges

The fuel offers significant advantages for mobile and portable applications because the liquid alcohol methanol can be transported anywhere safely, conveniently and effortlessly in the practical EFOY fuel cartridges.


In accordance with the CLP regulation, methanol is classified as toxic and highly flammable substance. Please refer to the safety data sheets for further information.

What makes SFC Energy’s DMFC Technology special?

When conventional methods of generating electricity from chemical energy sources are used, there has to be a heat engine that drives a generator to make the electricity usable. The DMFC doesn’t need this extra step to make energy; therefore it can be used for many applications.

Which areas of application are there for SFC Energy’s DMFC technology?

  • Fuel cells for industrial purposes

The EFOY Pro excels as an on-board power supply in cars and an off-grid power supply in a wide range of applications such as monitoring systems, measurement stations, oil and gas, and many more.

  • Fuel cells for defence and military

SFC fuel cells are incredibly lightweight. As a result, soldiers can reduce the number of batteries they need to carry and lengthen their deployment duration due to the weight and volume savings.

  • Fuel cells for mobile homes, marine applications and leisure

EFOY fuel cells are developed for the leisure sector and ensure a fully automatic battery recharge, for example, in a camper, on a boat, or in a cabin.

What is the environmental impact of SFC Energy’s DMFC technology?

Due to its extremely low carbon dioxide emissions, SFC Energy’s direct methanol fuel cell technology is not just environmentally sustainable. SFC direct methanol fuel cells are substantially more efficient than gasoline or diesel engines, making them a far more powerful and ecologically beneficial alternative.

What else should i know about SFC Energy’s DMFC technology?

SFC direct methanol fuel cells like the EFOY, EFOY Pro, EMILY and JENNY and the hydrogen fuel cell EFOY Hydrogen are well-known and trusted worldwide, making SFC Energy a reliable DMFC fuel cell manufacturer. Get in touch with the SFC energy team to understand how they can help with products and solutions that meet needs.

Overview of our direct methanol fuel cells

EFOY fuel cells
and lithium battery for mobile homes, marine and leisure

EFOY fuel cells have been developed for the leisure sector and ensure a fully automatic recharge of the battery, e.g. in a motorhome, on a boat or in a cabin. As EFOY Hybrid Power, fuel cell and lithium battery are a perfectly matched energy package.


fuel cells for industrial applications

For industrial applications, EFOY Pro fuel cells are the ideal power generators. The EFOY Pro is used for on-board power supply in vehicles, as off-grid power supply, e.g. for monitoring systems, measuring stations, oil and gas and many other applications.


Fuel cells
for defense & military applications

For the special requirements of military users and security applications, SFC Energy offers a special fuel cell portfolio as well as a coordinated power management system.

SFC Defense