SOFC is a fuel cell using the reaction of multiple fuels. For instance it works with ethanol and natural gas, with oxygen in order to produce electricity with high efficiency. If you didn't get it at first, we must distract you for a moment and reveal that this is Nissan's new alternative fuel technology.
In fact, the Japanese brand is making a big leap forward with it. Nissan is currently researching and developing the Solid Oxide Fuel-Cell-powered system (this is what SOFC stands for). It runs on bio-ethanol electric power, and in other words it is absolutely new and it is being applied for the first time for automotive use. It basically features an e-Bio Fuel-Cell with SOFC power generator. But let's get into the details.
What actually an e-Bio Fuel-Cell is?
It is one of the main features in the SOFC, which generates electricity through system's power generator using bio-ethanol that has been stored in the vehicle. The e-Bio Fuel-Cell uses hydrogen, which has been transformed from fuel with the help of the oxygen we breathe (from the atmosphere in other words). Then a subsequent electrochemical reaction happens, which produces electricity that in turn powers the machine.
The e-Bio Fuel-Cell actually uses the SOFC as its power source. This allows for greater power efficiency that is estimated of more than 600km. What is more, the distinct electric-drive features (silent drive, linear start-up and brisk acceleration) contribute for experiencing the vehicle as if it were an EV.
You might ask what is the advantage of all this? Well, it is basically and most importantly ecological. The fuel-cell systems utilize chemicals that react with oxygen, so that they can generate power without the release of hazardous byproducts.
CO2 is usually emitted, when power is generated in a fuel-cell system. However, with the bio-ethanol system, the CO2emissions are neutralized from the growing process of bio-source making up the bio-fuel. This allows for "Carbon-Neutral Cycle" with nearly no CO2 increase whatsoever.
What is more, the e-Bio Fuel-Cell, can not only offer eco-friendly transportation, but also create opportunities in regional energy production, while supporting the infrastructure.
What are the Bio-ethanol Fuel Sources?
Bio-ethanol fuels can be sourced from sugarcane and corn. As we know, these plants are widely available in countries in North and South America, and Asia; so the accessibility isn't a problem; and through a future development of this system it could also support the local infrastructure.
Does e-Bio Fuel-Cell have future?
Although it is in developing stages, in the upcoming years, the e-Bio Fuel-Cell will become even more user-friendly. By the way, the running costs will be remarkably low, which will ultimately benefit the public as well as businesses.
The e-Bio Fuel-Cell is part of "Nissan Intelligent Power" concept strategy. It aims at providing value to its customers by including systems that enable the extraction of electric power from various fuels, and at the same time it addresses the infrastructure issues tied to energy supply in every region of the world.
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