Research underway to develop ethanol-based fuel cells for electric cars

Researchers are trying to find a way to use ethanol to help fuel electric cars.

Pablo Di Si is the Executive Chairman of Volkswagen Latin America in Brazil, and he tells Brownfield they’re trying to develop a new type of compact fuel cell. “We’re looking at R & D (research and development) how we can form ethanol into a fuel cell or how can we make batteries out of biogas.”

Di Si says the company signed a partnership with Unicamp University in Sao Paulo Brazil to assist in the research, and he’s looking for additional research partners. “There’s a lot of smart people in Brazil. There’s a lot of smart people here in the U.S. so, we’re looking at universities and we’re looking at research centers, people who said they are passionate and believe in the cause. That’s what I’m looking for.”

And Di Si says the early research is encouraging. “In five months, I saw a lot of progress, so I think the best way to answer that is let’s attack this with everything we have in terms of intelligence whether it’s from Brazil or the U.S., and let’s try to accelerate because if we find a solution, it can be a breakthrough.”

Brownfield interviewed Pablo Di Si during the National Ethanol Conference in New Orleans.

Pablo Di Si from Volkswagen Latin America discusses fuel cell research with Brownfield’s Larry Lee at the National Ethanol Conference in New Orleans on 2/22/2022

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