Several reports have been made recently of the direct formate fuel cell (DFFC) operating at high-temperature and using Pt cathode catalyst. In the present work, we demonstrate a Pt-free DFFC employing ACTA HypermecTM 4020 Fe–Co second-generation cathode catalyst operating at low-temperature. We report a maximum power density (PD) of 45 mW cm−2 at ambient temperature (20 °C), when the fuel stream was 1 M HCOOK and 2 M KOH with oxygen used at the cathode. When air was used at the cathode, the maximum PD was 35 mW cm−2. When hydroxide was removed from the fuel stream and oxygen used at the cathode, the maximum PD at 20 °C was 18 mW cm−2. This low-temperature, KOH-free operation is important to development of a practical DFFC.

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