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ACAL Energy to Show Prototype Liquid Cathode Fuel Cell Power Module at FC EXPO 2010

ACAL Energy will bring a model hydrogen fuel cell system using its platinum-free liquid cathode, FlowCath, to FC EXPO 2010 in Tokyo in March. (Earlier post.) The FlowCath powered module demonstrates a practical product prototype which could be commercialized in less than two years.

The prototype, says ACAL, is considerably smaller than many people thought possible for a liquid cathode FC system.

FlowCath technology replaces the platinum catalyst on the cathode in a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell with a low cost, durable liquid chemical. This significantly reduces the overall platinum content, while delivering the same level of fuel cell power density as today’s platinum cathode systems.

The technology also inherently addresses the balance of plant costs by eliminating the need for hydration, pressurization, separate cooling and other expensive mechanical sub-systems commonly found in conventional PEM fuel cells.

Dr Andrew Creeth, inventor of the Flowcath® technology, will be addressing the Technical Conference which runs alongside the trade show. He will speak on the first day in the exhibitors’ Product/Technology seminar.

ACAL Energy is leading a £1.9 million (US$2.7 million) collaborative project recently started to build the first installed system using FlowCath fuel cell technology in a practical application. The project is supported by the UK’s Technology Strategy Board and is a major step on the commercialization road map for this technology.

Comments

SJC

This sounds useful. They have reduced platinum content a lot but at $1500 per ounce it is still a major cost. Reducing balance of system components helps as well.

Tim Duncan

The article says platium-free. SO apparently not a major cost. I wonder what the liquid cat is, what it costs, its MSDS looks like and such. Methanol cells have made progress but I doubt you could ever take such corrosive fuel on a flight to power a lap top for instance.

SJC

"ACAL Energy’s FlowCath technology replaces up to 90% of the platinum catalyst"

There still is come, but not much. I am also interested to see if a DMFC could be done using this technique. That would change things a bit.

Henry Gibson

With the advances in high compression engines, it is doubtful that fuel cells will every be cost effective for wide use. Exhaust gas treatments for engines are able to reduce almost everything but the CO2 and H20 to nothing. Exhaust energy recovery and engine cooling heat recovery will improve the efficiency to very high values. Large Ship engines can get very high efficiencies, 50 percent, from very low cost fuels. Similar efficiencies can be had from smaller engines. Improvements can be made to simple microturbines that already have low emissions to make them more efficient while eliminating everything but CO2 and water. Where microturbines replace ordinary boiler burners they already are efficient enough, but additional heat recovery can be installed as well. ..HG..

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