Methanol, which is produced and used all over the globe, is increasingly part of innovative applications that meet the growing demand for energy. Fuel cells are one such application, and direct-methanol fuel cells are a subcategory of proton-exchange fuel cells in which methanol is used as the fuel. The characteristics of methanol — which contains less carbon and more hydrogen than any other liquid fuel, is stable and quickly biodegradable, is readily available, and yields only carbon dioxide and water as waste products in fuel cells — makes it a fuel with enormous potential to address the energy needs of the future.
Oorja Protonics, Inc., develops and manufactures direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC)-based power systems that use methanol, combining a fuel cell and a traditional battery to provide a high-power solution that significantly reduces operating costs and greenhouse gas emissions. Oorja designs, develops, and commercializes reliable, economical modular DMFCs ranging in power from 1 to 5 kW, which have a wide range of applications for the telecommunications (wireless) and materials-handling industries, supplying backup power. The company was founded in 2005 in Silicon Valley and is funded by leading global investors.