ACAL fuel cell uses new liquid catalyst, has diesel-like durability

  • 12-Jul-2013 12:06 EDT
Fuel Cell 1.JPG

ACAL Energy's low-cost, durable PEM fuel cell system, powered by a poly–oxometalate liquid chemical solution called FlowCath.

ACAL Energy Ltd has created and tested a 100-kW fuel cell capable of a 10,000-hour runtime (the equivalent of 300,000 mi/500,000 km) without signs of degradation, the company claims. A third party automotive durability test was used and simulated a 40-minute car journey, repeated 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The test mimicked a journey with frequent stops as well as a highway cruise. ACAL’s stack design does not use platinum as a catalyst for the reaction between oxygen and hydrogen. Instead, the company has produced a patented liquid catalyst (called FlowCath) that acts as both a coolant as well as catalyst for the cell, and removes most of the known decay mechanisms. ACAL claims it has reduced the total cost as well as the weight of a fuel cell system. The fuel cell durability is comparable to lightweight diesel engines under similar conditions, and is claimed to exceed the 2017 U.S. Department of Energy target for fuel cells to last 5000 hours (150,000 mi/250,000 km) with a degradation threshold of 10%.

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