ACAL Energy Ltd. has broken a new record in fuel cell power density with a liquid platinum-free cathode system. The scientists from ACAL Energy obtained, from a development proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell using platinum-free cathode technology, a peak power that constantly exceeds 570mW/cm2.
And the company does not want to stop here! The target for this year is to obtain a peak power of over 1W/cm2.
The platinum catalyst is replaced with a much cheaper one and more reliable, a liquid catalyst FlowCath. This reduces the cost of the fuel cell and provides significant durability and reliability through system simplification and the elimination of the most common failure mechanisms found in standard fuel cells.
The liquid catalyst was invested in the early 50s by Ford Motor but, the discovery was soon abandoned because the chemical system couldn’t deliver enough oxygen. ACAL uses now the discoveries made by detergent chemistry over the past 50 years, to improve and make the invention of Ford Motor Company a viable solution.
ACAL started the development of it’s technology basing itself on the liquid catalysts. They started by using a polyoxometallate inorganic association complex that has the same power density as platinum(unpressurized). Next generation systems will use a transition metal-ligand complex which can deliver 2 to 3 times the performance of platinum.
ACAL is currently testing a 50W prototype, and plans to introduce a 1 kW demonstration system this year.