Chemical fuel cell has 1.5kW peak

A fuel-cell technology that relies mostly on a chemical instead of platinum as a catalyst has demonstrated peak power levels of 1.5kW.

The technology, known as Flowcath, from Cheshire-based ACAL Energy replaces up to 90 per cent of the current level of platinum catalyst in a proton-exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell with a low-cost, durable liquid chemical.

ACAL recently demonstrated a kilowatt-scale demonstrator of the system that will be the basis for a technology-evaluation kit for supply to manufacturer partners during 2010 to enable them to design Flowcath into their products.

The company seeks to supply FlowCath to fuel-cell system manufacturers in the form of a stack and supporting mechanical elements, as well as the proprietary chemical solutions.

Dr S B Cha, chief executive of ACAL Energy, said: ‘We are very pleased with the performance of our kilowatt-scale demonstration system. It is achieving significantly higher levels of power output than originally designed. We remain confident that Flowcath will enable clean fuel cells to succeed internal combustion engines in many applications.’