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Catalytic system for methane direct oxidation at room temperature and direct methane fuel cell



Statut des brevets

French priority patent application FR0902054640 filed in April 29th, 2009, entitled “Catalyseur et procédé d’oxydation électrochimique du méthane”


Yu Wei LU

Statut commercial

Research agreement, exclusive or non exclusive licenses


Laboratoire de Chimie Physique (LCP, UMR 8000), Orsay, France,



Among the types of fuel cells that exist and especially among the proton exchange membrane fuel cells, the idea of developing a direct methane fuel cell can be very interesting in the way that methane can be produced from organic compound fermentation. Nevertheless, no one has been able to find the right catalyst which allows the oxidation of methane into methanol and then into carbon dioxide.


In the present work, the inventor has developed a low-platinum catalytic system for the oxidation of methane into methanol and then into carbon dioxide at low temperature allowing therefore the use of methane as fuel for a fuel cell.

CH4 + H2O à CH3OH + 2e + 2H+
CH3OH + H2O à CO2 + 6e + 6H+

The catalytic system comprises a platinum (II) precursor supported on Heteropolyanion HPA particles.
The inventor has also developed an electrode for a fuel cell with the present catalytic system supported on a carbon-based conductor.


Efficiency of the catalytic system for total and partial methane oxidation obtained on a basic hydrogen fuel cell;
Prototype of a direct methane fuel cell under.


A fuel cell comprising such catalytic system offers many benefits:

  • Cost-efficient due to:

Low platinum content
Efficiency at room temperature

  • Eco-friendly as the methane can be obtained from organic compound fermentation.


The main application as stated previously revolves around direct methane fuel cell. Such device can definitely be used for transport, portable or stationnary power units.

For further information, please contact us (Ref 02732-01)

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