UK launches network for fuel cell, low carbon tech

UK launches network for fuel cell, low carbon tech

NEWS Contact: Medis Technologies Ltd, New York, NY, USA. Tel: +1 212 935 8484, The partners in the Low Carbon and Fuel Cel...

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Contact: Medis Technologies Ltd, New York, NY, USA. Tel: +1 212 935 8484,

The partners in the Low Carbon and Fuel Cell Technology KTN are Cenex, the UK’s first Centre of Excellence for low carbon and fuel cell technologies; SMMT Foresight Vehicle, an automotive industry-backed initiative; the Internet information platform Fuel Cell Today; and the Fuel Cells UK industry association. The KTN was launched simultaneously in London and in Yokohama, Japan at the Japan Society of Automotive Engineers (JSAE) Automotive Exposition. ‘[Japanese] companies are very interested in the work by UK universities and industry on materials and components for low carbon vehicles, fuel cells and enabling technologies like hydrogen storage materials,’ Sir Graham Fry, the British Ambassador, said at the Expo. ‘The launch of the KTN will enable UK organizations to partner with Japanese counterparts, and encourage the Japanese motor industry to continue to invest in the UK.’ By encouraging the early market adoption of low carbon and fuel cell technologies in automotive applications, Cenex will assist UK industry to develop a supply chain capable of competing in global markets, as well as showcasing UK expertise to encourage inward investment. Cenex is an initiative funded by the Department of Trade & Industry and led by a core group of member organizations, representing a broad cross-section of relevant UK industry.

Or contact: More Energy Ltd, Lod, Israel. Tel: +972 8 918 8666.

For more information on the KTN, go to:

Or contact: Oy Hydrocell Ltd, Järvenpää, Finland. Tel: +358 20 7288 640,

For more on Cenex, go to:

Although Medis has separately been pursuing a gel electrolyte-based design, and has filed patents, the companies’ combined capabilities are expected to accelerate development. Under the agreement, Medis has the exclusive right to use the gel in alkaline fuel cell products which provide under 30 We or use borohydride; in return it will pay Hydrocell US$200 000 over two years. The deal also provides that Medis will purchase the gel from Hydrocell, or pay a royalty if it decides to manufacture the gel itself or elsewhere. Medis and Hydrocell have also agreed to pursue joint development of a particular line of products which would seek to leverage the advantages of their respective technologies. These products would have a performance envelope between 20 and 200 We and will be developed for applications in military, automotive and stationary power systems. Finally, Medis was granted exclusive distribution rights to the Hydrocell products for certain key military markets (including the US and Israel) for three years initially, with a possible three-year extension. This will allow Medis the opportunity to add to its own military product line a family of products developed by Hydrocell for certain higher-power applications.

UK launches network for Fuel cell boat at Dutch solar yacht race fuel cell, low carbon tech


he newly established Low Carbon and Fuel Cell Technology Knowledge Transfer Network is now under way in the UK, with the aim of encouraging the active participation of all networks currently operating in the field of low carbon and fuel cell technologies. It also intends to establish connections with industry and academic networks in other fields with common interests. Knowledge Transfer Networks (KTNs) aim to improve the UK’s innovation performance by increasing the breadth and depth of knowledge and technology transfer into UK-based businesses and by accelerating the rate at which technology dissemination occurs. The KTN has two key elements: content and community. A web portal provides organizations with access to content, in the form of timely and relevant information on technological and market developments related to low carbon and fuel cell technologies.

July 2006


team led by the Dutch renewable energy company Ecofys has designed and built the first Dutch fuel cell boat, which participated in the recent Frisian Nuon Solar Challenge, a race for solar boats. The electrically powered sloop, equipped with hydrogen fuel cells, functioned as a ‘chase’ express boat for VIPs attending the event, and covered the full 220 km of the race without refueling. The Hydrogen Xperiance sloop was developed by Ecofys in collaboration with Ganita Shipyard, the Knowledge Centre of Yacht-building, and is subsidized by the Province of Friesland and the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs. ‘The sloop will be able to travel for two to three days without refueling,’ says Robert van den Hoed of Ecofys. ‘Besides, a fuel cell boat can be recharged within 15 minutes by switching the hydrogen cylinders, rather than the 4–6 h recharging needed for traditional electric boats.’

Ecofys hopes that the Hydrogen Xperiance will lead to broad utilization of fuel cell technology in the transportation sector, and provide a boost to electric boating in general. The company considers the boating sector to be an attractive niche market for fuel cell applications, and is actively developing fuel cell demonstrations for a range of boats including super yachts and canal boats. Contact: Ecofys, Utrecht, The Netherlands. Tel: +31 30 280 8300,

Millennium Cell continues collaboration with Dow, wins grants


he Dow Chemical Company has elected to purchase $1.25 million of stock in New Jersey-based Millennium Cell, under an option which became exercisable on the recent achievement of the first milestone under their joint development agreement. Dow will also continue its staffing commitment towards achievement of the second milestone. Meanwhile, Millennium Cell has been awarded two Phase I Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) grants by the National Science Foundation and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). Early last year Millennium Cell and Dow entered into a three-year, milestone-driven joint development program to collaborate on the development and commercialization of portable fuel cell systems for use in consumer electronics and military applications [FCB, April 2005]. These hydrogen ‘batteries’ are based on Millennium Cell’s patented Hydrogen on Demand® technology and PEM fuel cells. The milestones include securing a development funding contract from the military and the subsequent development, manufacture and delivery of a prototype to meet those specifications. Since the program’s inception, Dow has been providing a combination of business and technical resources to aid in the achievement of these milestones. As each milestone is achieved, Dow’s resource commitment increases. The NSF grant is to develop a new hydrogen storage technology based on solid fuel blends that include borohydrides. The work performed under this six-month program will build on patentpending technology already developed by Millennium Cell, and could result in a two-year Phase II award. The company will subcontract some work to Professor Michael A. Matthews’ research group at the University of South Carolina.

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