Acta Doubles the Power of Micro Fuel Cells

November 28, 2005 by Jeff Shepard

Acta SpA (Lavoria, Italy) has more than doubled the power output of its catalyst for Direct Methanol Fuel Cells (DMFCs). This increased level of power output is amongst the highest reported of any self-breathing room temperature DMFC, whether fuelled by ethanol or methanol.

The increase in power, which is from 25mW/cm2 to 55mW/cm2 on an air breathing, room temperature fuel cell, demonstrates that Acta’s HYPERMEC catalysts offer excellent performance. The company also demonstrated that fuel cells powered by ethanol could match or exceed the power output of the best-reported fuel cells powered by methanol.

“These results are extremely encouraging for all portable fuel cell developers. However, we believe that this is just the beginning. We shall be improving both our catalyst and our application technology and I am confident that we can continue to improve the power output further still,” commented Mr Paolo Bert, Chief Executive of Acta.

“We have been encouraged by the response of the market to HYPERMEC and we are delighted to be able to offer our customers a catalyst which delivers the power they need, together with a practical new fuel. This is another step closer to the commercialisation of fuel cells to the mass consumer market,” added Toby Woolrych, Acta’s Chief Operating Officer.

The catalysts driving the new developments were among the first batches to be produced at the company’s new Lavoria factory near Pisa in Italy, which already has installed capacity to produce over 1,000kg per annum: enough to meet the industry’s development needs.