Browse Penn-owned technologies available for licensing.
Most previous direct carbon fuel cells require special forms of carbon or use only a fraction of the carbon to generate electricity. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have demonstrated that molten-metal electrodes are able to generate electricity efficiently for essentially any form of carbon and to use all of that carbon for electricity generation. They have also developed a tubular fuel cell design that circulates a liquid metal anode through the fuel cell. The natural-convection-driven motion requires no mechanical parts and allows for easy removal of non-combustible ash that might be in the fuel. By overcoming some of the challenges of direct carbon fuel cells, this design offers a promising method of efficient electricity generation from carbon fuels.