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Polymer Fuel Cell Challenge Aims to Bring Down Costs

The Carbon Trust, a UK non-profit company, has thrown down the gauntlet with its Polymer Fuel Cell Challenge which aims to bring down the costs of fuel cells and commercialize them in the near future. In the latest part of this challenge the Carbon Trust has put up ½ million British pounds in a collaboration between Imperial College and UCLB.

According to UCLB, “The Carbon Trust is running the Polymer Fuel Cell Challenge (PFCC) to develop, prove and commercialise novel fuel cell technologies which have the potential to deliver a step-change in overall system cost.

“The UCL and Imperial College collaboration led by Dr Dan Brett (UCL Department of Chemical Engineering) and Professor Anthony Kucernak (Imperial College Department of Chemistry) is developing a fuel cell stack that could offer significant cost savings by using existing high-volume manufacturing techniques employed in the production of circuit boards.”

The Carbon Trust began the Polymer Fuel Cell Challenge back in 2010 by selecting promising companies on the edge of breakthroughs in fuel cell technology. ITM Power was the recipient of the first round of funding in 2010 and they created the “… highest ever published hydrogen-air polymer fuel cell power density.”

In March 2011, ACAL Energy was the second recipient of the Polymer Fuel Cell Challenge funding. ACAL has since created novel liquid cathode technology for fuel cells.

The Imperial College and UCLB collaboration is the third project under the Polymer Fuel Cell Challenge, aimed once again at using novel materials for fuel cells and high production assembly line technology in order to bring down costs.

The Carbon Trust figures that by 2050, the worldwide market for polymer fuel cells will be worth at least $180 billion and that the UK will be in a good position to get a hefty part of this market share due to their early research and development efforts.

About Hydro Kevin Kantola

Hydro Kevin Kantola
I'm a hydrogen auto blogger, editor and publisher interested in documenting the history and the progression of hydrogen autos, vehicles and infrastructure worldwide.

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    Hi K

    Worth pointing out that a further 1/2 million pounds has also been shared between ITM Power [Membrane] and ACAL [catalyst] to help combine both companies technologies and develop a new hybrid high-power, low-cost fuel cell design. This is the most exciting development to come out of the Polymer Fuel Cell Challenge funding program so far I feel.

  2. Avatar

    Hi y’all,Cool film although, as matt nimteons most of the stuff isn’t practical at all for most people. Still, it shows what’s possible and that seems to be encouraging. Personally, I’d be more interested in having enough solar power, and batteries to get me through the night, and then get an evil belly laugh at making our local utility company buy the excess electricity. I’d also like to mention that I’ve been doing a bit of research in this area lately and, with a modest amount of Government subsidy and the amount of scrap land area I have to work with (fence rows and such,) I’m pretty close to making this a paying investment. My current guess is that, in another three years or so when manufacture of thin film solar panels catches up with demand reducing their price a bit, and assuming that electric rates go up a little more than accounting for the rate of inflation, I’ll be able to convince a bank that a loan toward this goal would be a good investment. Of course, as soon as I sign the papers, you know a practical fusion reactor will be announced the next day the Grit

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