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Search for technical advances and optimal solutions in the field of energy, ranging from designing new power sources to securing its financial viability and environmental conformability, has been at the forefront of scientific and applied endeavors for a number of years now. To a large extent, this has been driven by an increased demand for energy in combination with concerns over the environmental status of existing solutions. Also, taking into account growing costs of fossil fuel, one can clearly realize we are facing a multifaceted and complex problem, which involves scientific and technological, as well as societal, economical and geopolitical challenges.

Fuel cells directly convert chemical energy stored in fuels into electrical energy through electrochemical reactions, and have been identified as one of the most promising technologies for the clean energy industry of the future.

The overall concept of the NanoElMem project relates to developing novel stable and highly effective materials for the direct alkaline ethanol fuel cell (DAEFC), which directly converts ethanol to electric power. The enhancement of the performance of DAEFCs is based on the development of platinum (Pt)-free electrode catalysts and nano-composite membranes by using environmental-friendly inorganic and polysaccharide materials and technologies. The enormous technical and scientific potential of graphene will be explored by producing new graphene-polysaccharide based membranes.

NanoElMem is funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport of Slovenia, Ministry of Science and Technology of Taiwan and by the Research Council of Norway.