The DBFC (Direct Borohydride Fuel Cell) is the major Borohydride application of MERIT Ltd.. Different to other fuel cells our DBFC uses Borohydride resolved into an aqueous solution as fuel. The method of using Borohydride instead of gaseous hydrogen, has many advantages. First of all the storage problem has been solved. For mobile applications no special devices such as dangerous high pressure chlinders or an energy consuming apparatus which chill down to liquid hydrogen state are needed.

Borohydride fuel is safe, operates at low temperature, contains a high H-capacity of hydrogen and is as easy to handle as gasoline. Furthermore our DBFC has a higher performance and is cheaper than any other fuel cell.

As described in our "BH4- as a hydrogen storage material" section, the borohydride complex ion makes it possible. It releases 8 electrons instead of just 4 for the electricity production. This fact leads to a higher overall performance of our DBFC.

Mechanism of DBFC:

Na O2 H2O
BH4- BO2- OH-

Theoretical electrode reaction of DBFC

Anode (1)

Anode: The use of fluorinated metal alloys for the electrode is another main advantage of the DBFC. Our materials only cost a fraction compared to the platinum anode of traditional fuel cells and they show amazing electrochemical performance. As you can see in the pictures, our scientist improve the anode every day. Different shapes and different types of materials are under a constant research and help to power up the cell performance.

Anode (2)
Anode (3)
(most advanced panel)

The task of a good catalyst for the DBFC is to support the electrochemical reaction of Borohydride and don't produce too much hydrogen out of the aqueous alkaline solution. We already achieved this task. So far our catalyst only produces a small amount of hydrogen as "by-product". One application which would even support the hydrogen "by-product" is the combined fuel cell system. Right now we research a fuel cell mixture of a PEMFC and our DBFC. Here the PEMFC could use the pure hydrogen "by-product" of our DBFC. Please see our combined fuel cell system section for more details.

Evaluation System for DBFC test

This figure shows a scheme of a DBFC test system. Our researchers experiment with new fuel cell stacks and collect important data while using such kind of system. You can see a picture of the same set up in our DBFC application and prototype section.

DBFC (Direct Borohydride Fuel Cell)

For more detailed information about our DBFC program please visit the publication section of this page or contact us directly.