Ilika receives Carbon Trust funds for electro-catalyst work

Cleantech materials company Ilika is to receive an equity investment of £149,380 from the Carbon Trust to support the commercialisation of its proprietary electro-catalysts for use in fuel cell vehicles.

In a fuel cell, a controlled reaction between hydrogen and oxygen occurs, which requires electro-catalysts that are currently based on platinum.

In a statement, Ilika said it has developed a platinum-free catalyst which, on a cost/performance basis, promises to be 70 per cent cheaper than the current industry standard.

The electro-catalysts, which were originally discovered using Ilika’s high-throughput materials development platform at its facilities in Southampton, have been subsequently manufactured to Ilika’s specification by a partner using an industrially scalable process.

The investment from the Carbon Trust will support Ilika in having a larger quantity of the electro-catalyst made for testing by the major automotive OEMs that have expressed their interest in the technology.

‘We have been supporting Ilika’s fuel-cell work for some time,’ said Michael Rea, chief operating officer of the Carbon Trust. ‘It continues to make good progress and the recent results provided to us show the major commercial and carbon-saving potential that this UK technology could unlock.’

Ilika now plans to issue 271,600 new ordinary 1p shares at an issue price of 55p, which will be admitted to trading on 17 September 2012.