Hydrogen fuel cell maker Millennium Cell has gone down in flames this month, which has been largely unnoticed by the industry or media. But, I think it’s important to acknowledge industry leaders and pioneers even when they do fall a little short.
As of May 9, 2008 all employees of Millennium Cell have found themselves without a job at the company. The cash-strapped firm has been looking into the possibility of a reverse merger in order to keep them listed on the NASDAQ and solvent. So far, there have been no takers.
Millennium Cell first came to my attention in 2002 when their hydrogen-on-demand system was used inside a Duffy fuel cell ferryboat in the harbor in Newport Beach, California. Later on Millennium Cell went on to convert a 2005 Ford Ranger XL to hydrogen-on-demand using its sodium borohydride (NaBH4) system.
Millennium Cell was also involved in the innovation behind the PUMA fuel cell UAV, Gecko fuel cells for the small portable electronics market and the HydroPak portable emergency fuel cell backup generator. The HydroPak was a collaborative effort with Horizon to bring forth a low cost ($400) portable generator that uses $20 disposable autotridges, making it affordable and effective.
So, unless Millennium Cell is a Phoenix rising from the ashes, its time to pull the curtain and bid farewell to this hydrogen pioneer. They have helped advanced hydrogen technology over the years like few other companies and only time will tell how much we all have profited from their hard work and creativity.