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05 Dec 2008 05:12:48

Fuel cell firm gets £3.3m investment

Fuel cell firm gets £3.3m investment
Fuel cell technology firm ACAL Energy has secured £3.3 million investment to pursue technology it claims will "dramatically" cut fuel cell costs.

The investment from the Carbon Trust, chemical company Solvay and another investor will allow the company to develop FlowCath, a low temperature cathode technology which could cut the cost of fuel cells by up to 40 per cent, claims the company.

ACAL's technology manages to avoid using expensive precious metal catalysts and simplifies the design, eliminating the most common failure mechanisms in fuel cells.

According to the Carbon Trust, the market for fuel cells, which can have a range of applications including in remote and distributed power, residential cogeneration and automotive, is worth £960 million.

It noted that analyst Clean Edge claimed the market will grow to over £10 billion over ten years.

Jonathan Bryers, partner at CT Investment Partners, said: "Carbon Trust Investments backed the ACAL Energy technology proposition at an early stage and we have been impressed by what we believe is a highly innovative and effective solution to two key barriers facing the fuel cell sector: cost and system simplification."

Fuel cell technology came a step closer to broad market use following a relaxation of regulations in the US last month.

It amended its hazardous materials regulation to allow cells with methanol, butane or formic acid to be carried on aircraft.



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