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Acta Catalyst Development Program With Sumitomo Moves Into Second Phase

A development program between Anglo-Italian catalyst maker Acta S.p.A (earlier post) and Sumitomo Corporation is proceeding into its second stage, following the successful completion of the first phase in which all technical milestones and deadlines were met.

Acta uses a patented approach to producing its catalysts, involving a templating polymer that organizes the catalyst metals during application to the substrate. The polymer structure prevents agglomeration of the very small particle sizes used, resulting in a large active area. Any metal combination can be used in the process, according to Acta.

Following trials of Acta’s HYPERMEC catalysts for both Alkaline Membrane Fuel Cells (AMFCs) and for ammonia electrolyzers, a major global OEM based in Asia, Sumitomo and Acta entered into a development agreement in November 2007. At the time of the signing, the parties said that the intention was to move to subsequent commercialization of applications containing Acta catalysts if the program was successful.

Under the terms of this agreement, the three parties were jointly to fund specific development activities over an initial sixteen month period, to be extended by mutual agreement. The contract start on 1 December 2007. The details of the program for the following twelve months were agreed to in the first quarter of 2008.

Acta is encouraged that, despite a reduction in research and development expenditure by the customer, as previously announced, the program has continued into the second stage.

The second stage of the contract will commence immediately, and is scheduled to deliver revenues of approximately €500,000 (US$640,000) over the next four months. The scope of work encompasses detailed characterization of Acta’s catalyst technology, and the parties believe that the work being undertaken will benefit Acta’s products across several key applications.

Acta will continue to focus its development efforts on near-term revenue opportunities with major industrial partners, and to reduce non-core costs where possible. These cost reductions are not expected to impact operational capability, and the continuation of the development program will be managed from within current technical resources.


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