Jungheinrich Researches Methanol Fuel Cells

HAMBURG, Germany—At Hannover Messe Trade Fair 2007, the Research Centre Jûlich presented the first concept study of a Jungheinrich electric lift truck powered with a direct methanol fuel cell.

The research project was conducted by the Research Centre and carried out through its association with Jungheinrich, among others. The purpose is to determine whether a direct methanol fuel cell would be technically and economically feasible as a drive concept for industrial trucks.

According to Jungheinrich, direct methanol fuel cell technology is appropriate for applications in the “low power range.” Potential users of this technology include operators of small, tiller-controlled electric stackers and pallet trucks, the company says.

“Methanol can be handled as easily as gas or diesel fuels,” says Ralf Baginski, head of pre-development at Jungheinrich, “and methanol is also used on a large scale in the chemical industry, so availability is no problem. Methanol can also be easily produced from renewable raw materials.

“As the fuel cell system is divisible into several subsystems, this might provide additional constructional scope that could be used for more compact pedestrian trucks or more comfortable ride-on trucks,” Baginski concludes.

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