Photo courtesy of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd

Photo courtesy of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd

Nissan Motor Co. is currently researching and developing a Solid Oxide Fuel-Cell (SOFC)-powered system that runs on bio-ethanol electric power. The SOFC fuel cells produce electricity to charge a battery from the reaction of fuels such as ethanol and natural gas with oxygen.

The system features an e-Bio Fuel-Cell with an SOFC power generator, which generates electricity through using bio-ethanol stored in the vehicle, according to the automaker. The e-Bio Fuel-Cell utilizes hydrogen transformed from fuel via a reformer and atmospheric oxygen, with the subsequent electrochemical reaction producing the electricity.

The e-Bio Fuel-Cell system uses SOFC as its source of power, affording greater power efficiency to give the vehicle cruising ranges of more than 372 miles. The e-Bio Fuel-Cell car’s distinct electric-drive will offer features similar to an EV, including silent drive, linear start-up and brisk acceleration.

Fuel-cell systems use chemicals that react with oxygen, generating power without release of harmful byproducts. When power is generated in a fuel-cell system, carbon dioxide is usually emitted., With the bio-ethanol system, carbon emissions are neutralized from the growing process of sugarcane making up the bio-fuel, allowing it to have a “Carbon-Neutral Cycle,” with nearly no carbon dioxide increase.

The e-Bio Fuel-Cell will become even more user-friendly in the future, according to Nissan.