Most of the R&D on fuel cells for portable applications concentrates on increasing efficiencies and energy densities to compete with other energy storage devices, especially batteries. To improve the efficiency of direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) systems, several modifications to system layouts and operating strategies are considered in this paper, rather than modifications to the fuel cell itself. Two modified DMFC systems are presented, one with an additional inline mixer and a further modification of it with a separate tank to recover condensed water. The set point for methanol concentration control in the solution is determined by fuel efficiency and varies with the current and other process variables. Feedforward concentration control enables variable concentration for dynamic loads. Simulation results were validated experimentally with fuel cell systems.