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ACAL Energy leads field demonstration of platinum-free cathode fuel cell system
Project funded by Technology Strategy Board

Cheshire, UK – 11th January 2010 -- ACAL Energy Ltd, the developer of affordable and reliable fuel cell systems, is leading a collaborative project to build the world’s first installed system using FlowCath® fuel cell technology in a practical application. The project represents an investment of Ł1.9 million and has been awarded funding by the Technology Strategy Board. It will see a fully operational demonstration system of a FlowCath® fuel cell unit installed at Solvay Interox’s large industrial site at Warrington, Cheshire, and will be a major step on the commercialisation road map for this innovative technology.

Joining ACAL Energy as partners on the project are: Solvay Interox Ltd, Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells, UPS Systems plc, the Centre for Process Innovation, the University of Southampton and the Manufacturing Engineering Centre at Cardiff University.

ACAL Energy and its partners will develop and operate a suitably sized, low cost FlowCath® fuel cell unit to provide continuous electrical power to a remote environmental monitoring system within the chemical manufacturing plant. The project commenced 1st December 2009, with the build and installation taking place in the second half of 2010. Ultimately, fuel cell systems utilizing FlowCath® will be a clean and economically sensible alternative to diesel and gasoline generators in stationary and transportation applications requiring 1kW to 200kW of electrical power.

ACAL Energy’s FlowCath® technology replaces the platinum catalyst on the cathode in a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell with a low cost, durable liquid chemical. This will significantly reduce the overall platinum content, as much of the platinum in conventional PEM fuel cells is used in the cathode. ACAL Energy has developed a family of proprietary chemical compounds that deliver the same level of fuel cell power density as today’s platinum cathode systems. Further increases in power density are forecast in the future. The technology also significantly reduces the balance of plant costs by eliminating the need for hydration, pressurization, separate cooling and other expensive mechanical sub-systems commonly found in conventional PEM fuel cells.

“Field demonstration of our FlowCath® technology is a very important milestone for the company”, said Dr SB Cha, Chief Executive Officer of ACAL Energy. “This application requires the unit to run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and will be an excellent example of the robustness and reliability of our low cost fuel cell technology. We are delighted to be part of a world-class project team and we are grateful to the UK Technology Strategy Board for their strong support.”

- Ends-
For further information, please contact Amanda Lyne at ACAL Energy:
Tel: +44 (0)1928 511581
E-mail :

Editorial contact:
Terry Nicklin, Keynote
Tel: +44 (0)7923 540695

Notes to Editors:

About ACAL Energy Limited
ACAL Energy is a developer of a new fuel cell technology that will enable low cost and highly reliable fuel cell systems for a wide variety of applications. The company was founded in August 2004 by FlowCath® inventor Dr Andrew Creeth and is headquartered in Runcorn, UK.

Fuel cells are a highly efficient and clean energy production technology capable of replacing combustion engines in applications including remote and distributed power and residential cogeneration, as well as automotive and mobile power applications. FlowCath® replaces the expensive precious metal catalyst found in conventional fuel cells with a proprietary low cost liquid catalyst. This not only reduces the cost of the fuel cell, but also provides significant durability and reliability benefits through system simplification and the elimination of the most common failure mechanisms found in standard fuel cells.

FlowCath® is a registered trademark of ACAL Energy Ltd.

Solvay Interox Ltd is a company wholly owned by Solvay SA, the world’s largest manufacturer of hydrogen peroxide. Solvay has broad experience and expertise in the fields of industrial polymers, membranes and especially fluoropolymers and has significant interest and capability in fuel cells, particularly through their joint venture company Solvicore. SolviCore is a 50%/50% joint venture of Umicore and Solvay, with currently 43 employees, which focuses on the development, production and sales of Membrane- Electrode-Assemblies (MEA) for fuel cells. Solvay Interox will provide the location and application for the development.

Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells Ltd is a leading developer, manufacturer and supplier of fuel cell catalysts, membrane electrode assemblies and other catalysed components to fuel cell developers worldwide. The facility at Swindon, where this project will be based, is capable of researching and fabricating a wide range of developmental and production scale MEAs.

UPS Systems Plc. Founded in 1993, UPS Systems pioneered the concept of 'one-stop-shop' distribution for standby power products from all major suppliers, and will bring their experience in fuel cell back up power units to lead the installation. Headquartered in Hungerford, Berkshire, UPS Systems has a strategic commitment to fuel cells, and is the UK’s foremost independent supplier of fuel cells for stationary and standby power applications.

The Manufacturing Engineering Centre (MEC) based in Cardiff University was founded in 1996 under the directorship of Professor Duc Pham OBE. The 90-strong MEC conducts world-class research and development in all major areas of Advanced Manufacturing and uses the output to promote the introduction of new manufacturing technology and practice to industry. MEC will provide capability in low cost system design and engineering to meet the target low cost parameters.

Southampton University. The 5*-rated School of Engineering Sciences at Southampton University brings a wealth of expertise in modelling and simulation of complex systems. The School benefits from world-class computing facilities including several high-performance computing systems for parallel simulations, and state-of-the-art laboratory facilities. They will use their expertise in fluid and electrochemical modelling to optimise the liquid and electrode flows.

The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) was established by One North East in 2004 as a UK-wide resource to stimulate and drive innovation within the process industry. The Low Carbon Energy platform has laboratories that support the practical implementation of fuel cell and hydrogen technologies. It also works with a dedicated network of organisations and companies supporting the development of a low carbon energy supply chain in North East England. CPI will use their experience to ensure that the system meets real application standards and requirements.

Publisher Contact Information:

ACAL Energy Limited
+44 (0)1928 511581

Company profile of ACAL Energy Limited
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