PolyFuel To Suspend Operations

August 13, 2009 by Jeff Shepard

PolyFuel, a company that develops portable fuel cells, announced that it will cease operations, asking shareholders to approve the liquidation of the company’s assets.

PolyFuel, which was developing portable fuel cells, received a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in April to miniaturize and commercialize its portable power systems for mobile computing. These funds were in addition to the $3 million the DOE awarded the company between 2004 and 2007. The company had also developed a power supply for Lenovo’s ThinkPad notebook PC.

The funds were granted as part of a project by PolyFuel to produce smaller versions of their portable power systems in order to be used as mobile systems. Additionally the funds would go towards PolyFuel going commercial with their product.

However, a mere two months after its most recent injection of government funds, PolyFuel announced that it was seeking additional capital to develop technology and products, build manufacturing capability, and commercialize products. Trading of PolyFuel shares was suspended in July.

PolyFuel said the key to its technology was the hydrocarbon-based membranes that deliver more power, enabling a reduction in the size, weight and cost of fuel cell stacks.

PolyFuel, a 1999 spinout of the Stanford Research Institute, had also developed technology for Imara, a lithium ion battery manufacturer, as well as Lamina Ceramics, which makes LEDs.