Carbon-free sustainable energy technology: Direct ammonia fuel cells

Yuqi Guo, Zhefei Pan, Liang An

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


Ammonia, an indirect hydrogen storage media containing a high content of hydrogen (17.8 wt. %), could be an ideal carbon-free fuel for fuel cells. The DAFCs employed alkaline anion exchange membranes (AEMs), referring to the low temperature AEM-DAFCs, not only have merits of the high energy efficiency, but are compatible with non-precious catalysts without ammonia decomposition process, which means a lower cost compared to proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Unlike high-performance of direct ammonia solid oxide fuel cells (high temperature SO-DAFCs), the low catalytic activity of the electro-catalysts and the difficulty of ammonia oxidation at low temperatures lead to far worse performance of low temperature AEM-DAFCs. Therefore, this article is trying to offer some incentives and indicate a direction for the future development of DAFCs. First, this review emphasizes previous development tracks and current progress on low temperature AEM-DAFCs and high temperature SO-DAFCs. For the low temperature AEM-DAFCs, the current progress of platinum-based and non-platinum-based electro-catalysts, high conductivity membranes, the low catalytic activity and membrane degradation issues will be summarized. The performance comparison of high temperature SO-DAFCs with various electrode and electrolyte materials and long-term stability issues will be discussed in the later section.

Original languageEnglish
Article number228454
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2020


  • Ammonia oxidation reaction
  • Anion exchange membrane
  • Direct ammonia fuel cells
  • Electro-catalysts
  • Solid oxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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