BASF Future Business has agreed to acquire Frankfurt-based PEMEAS, a supplier of fuel cell components, from a group made up of seven investors. No financial details were disclosed. The acquisition will be completed by the end of January.

PEMEAS was founded in April 2004 as a spin-off of the former Hoechst Group’s fuel cell activities. The company has approximately 50 employees and operates manufacturing and R&D facilities in Germany and the United States. PEMEAS is currently working with clients on projects to use fuel cells in portable electronics, residential applications or backup power systems.

According to BASF, PEMEAS is currently pursuing two strategies. The Celtec division focuses on the development and commercialisation of membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) for high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells. These devices operate at temperatures between 120oC to 180oC, and are said to be more reliable and cost efficient than conventional low temperature fuel cells.

The E-TEK division develops and manufactures catalysts, gas diffusion layers and electrodes for low and high temperature PEM fuel cells as well as for direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC).

According to industry expectations, the global fuel cell market will grow from €1bn in 2010 to €21.5bn in 2020.