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Direct ethanol fuel cells (DEFC), which promise to be a clean and efficient energy production technology, have recently attracted worldwide attention, primarily because ethanol is a carbon-neu- tral, sustainable fuel and possesses many unique physicochemical properties including high energy density and ease of transportation, storage as well as handling. However, conventional DEFCs, which use acid proton exchange membranes and precious metal catalysts, result in rather low performance. In our research, we use alkaline anion exchange membranes as the solid electrolyte in DEFCs. It is demonstrated that the change from the acid mem- brane to an alkaline one leads to a significant performance boost.