Leading the way in world class fuel cell
ACAL Energy has developed a new world leading fuel cell
technology that could mean vehicles powered by hydrogen powered
fuel cells will at last be affordable enough for the mainstream
market place - enabling the emergence of a global industry
estimated to be worth over £180 billion by 2050.
The car industry has been working to develop hydrogen fuel cell
vehicles for over a decade. But their commercial viability has been
hampered by the high cost and low durability of traditional,
based, fuel cell technology.
The high cost comes predominantly from the use of expensive
platinum catalysts which need to be regularly replaced as a result
of deterioration, as well as the expensive technology required
within the cell to keep the membrane humidified as the fuel cell is
ACAL Energy has addressed these issues by developing a new way
of reacting the oxygen with a low cost liquid catalyst system,
which is not only far cheaper, it also eliminates the causes of
degradation and simplifies the balance of plant needed to ensure
durability. Overall, ACAL Energy's technology has the potential to
cut system costs, once in mass production, by up to 40%.
Low carbon hydrogen-powered fuel cells can power electric cars
with zero local emissions, whilst offering the range currently
expected from a traditional combustion engine. ACAL Energy's
breakthrough could be key to making this technology available for
mass market future low carbon transport - making fuel cell cars
both the lowest carbon vehicle available, with no compromise on use
patterns, as well as being potentially cheaper to run than plug-in
hybrids or battery-only electric vehicles. At the heart of the
ground-breaking new design is a proprietary liquid 'catholyte'
system based on commodity chemicals. It is the brainchild of Andy
Creeth, co-founder of ACAL Energy, who thought of the idea after
leaving his previous role developing chemical solutions for
everyday uses such as detergents or personal care products.
Working with the Carbon Trust
ACAL Energy started working with the Carbon Trust as part of our
Business Incubator in 2006 and we first invested in the company in
2007. In 2010/11 it was selected for a £1 million investment as
part of our Polymer Fuel Cell Challenge. The Polymer Fuel Cell
Challenge was launched in 2009 to deliver the critical reduction in
fuel cell system costs that must be achieved to make mass market
deployment a reality.
Download ACAL Energy case
study (PDF) or see more about our work with ACAL Energy
reducing fuel cell costs in our Innovations showcase video: