Blue World Technologies has acquired 15% of Danish Power Systems, a developer and manufacturer of membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) for high-temperature PEM fuel cells. Blue World Technologies will use the Danish Power Systems technology in their methanol fuel cell systems.
The complete Blue World system includes the fuel cell stack, the methanol reformer, heat-exchanger, power conversion units and a set of power and operation controllers, and balance of plant. The MEA is one of the core components in a fuel cell stack.
The core system components are a High-Temperature PEM fuel cell stack and a methanol reformer. A closed thermal integration enables reuse of fuel cell waste heat for fuel evaporation thereby increasing efficiency. The Balance of Plant components are needed to control and supply the system with air, fuel, and coolant.
The HT PEM-technology operates at 160-180 °C and has a high resistance to impurities in reformat gas which makes it suitable to combine with fuel reformers. The combination can be done without the implementation of expensive and cumbersome clean-up technologies which enables a simple and cost-effective system design.
The Dapozol MEA is optimized for operating temperatures of 120-200°C, high carbon monoxide concentrations and no requirements for humidification.
Methanol reforming converts a mix of methanol and water into a hydrogen-rich gas. Before the reforming can take place the fuel needs to go from liquid to gas form by evaporation, a process that requires energy and in a generic system would mean using primary fuel, leading to lower efficiency. In the combination with HT PEM the waste heat is of sufficient temperature to drive this process, meaning an energy-free process which leads to a superior overall efficiency.
The fundamental chemical process, which takes place in the reformer is:
CH3OH + H2O → CO2 + 3 H2
The hydrogen produced is subsequently used in the fuel cell to produce electricity.
Blue World Technologies’ methanol fuel cell system is applicable to a variety of industries with a primary focus on the transportation sector. A liquid fuel, methanol can easily be stored and transported around the world using the already existing infrastructure with only minor adjustments and low investment costs to follow. The methanol fuel cell system has zero in-use emissions of criteria pollutants, thereby providing a solution to the problems with air pollution that cities around the world are currently facing.
For vehicles, the methanol fuel cell systems would be applied in a plug-in battery hybrid configuration to balance the need for power/acceleration and energy/range. Waste heat can be utilized for cabin/battery heating and fuel tank can be placed where chassis design allows it.
Typical specifications would include a 15 – 25 kWh battery pack; a 10 – 20 kW methanol fuel cell system; and a 50 – 80 L liquid tank.
This would enable a ~3-minute refueling time with a +1000 km range using a cheap, simple fuel with reuse of existing infrastructure and logistics.
Later this year, Blue World Technologies is starting the construction of a methanol fuel cell factory with a yearly production capacity of 50,000 units. The close collaboration with Danish Power Systems will bring extensive technical know-how and manufacturing experience to the partnership.
Blue World aims to become the world-leading manufacturer of highly energy-efficient methanol fuel cell systems at a competitive price. The strategic collaboration with Danish Power Systems plays a significant part in scaling-up the production of the methanol fuel cell systems.
Earlier this year, Danish Power Systems celebrated its 25th anniversary working with development and manufacturing of MEA-components based on HT PEM-technology (High-Temperature Polymer Electrolyte Membrane). These many years of research and development has resulted in a market-leading position within manufacturing of MEA-components.