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Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Environment/Energy Donate to DU
JohnWxy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 04:55 PM
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Embargoed until Thursday 15th September 2005


Acta S.p.A., the worlds leading developer of high performance platinum-free catalysts for the fuel cell industry today announced that it has filed a further patent for its unique catalyst for hydrogen reformers. Hydrogen reformers are an important component in supplying pure hydrogen for PEM fuel cells. To date, they have been constrained by the high operating temperatures required for the process to take place and by the high cost of the platinum group metal (PGM) catalyst used to lower these temperatures. Above all, hydrogen has been produced from fossil fuels such as methanol and natural gas for the environmentally friendly fuel cell industry. Actas new catalyst can be used to reform hydrogen from ethanol as well as conventional fuels such as natural gas and methanol.

Ethanol is a safe, practical fuel derived from wholly renewable sources, meaning that the hydrogen economy can become truly green. Full reforming of ethanol takes place at just 450 degrees C compared to the 550 degrees C for comparable PGM-containing catalysts and 650 degrees C for nickel-based catalysts. This means that ethanol can be reformed using substantially less power than with existing technologies and temperature management issues are reduced. Furthermore, as the catalyst is PGM-free it can be sold for high volume applications at industrial prices far below the price of current catalysts.

Paolo Bert, Chief Executive of Acta, commented: Actas catalysts offer a breakthrough for the fuel cell industry. This latest development offers the opportunity of reforming for fuel cells without the use of scarce and costly PGMs in either reformer or fuel cell. This meets a need for the industry to have affordable fuel cell systems. Moreover, it allows the use of ethanol as a fuel. As it is made from biomass, ethanol is an environmentally friendly product, offering the potential for truly green and emission-free energy.

- Ends Enquiries: Acta Toby Woolrych 0039 050 644281 Weber Shandwick Melissa Rowling 0044 207 067 0712 Azadeh Varzi 0044 207 067 0711
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