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5 July 2006 

ITM Power Hydrogen Combustion Development Programme

ITM Power Plc is pleased to announce today that it has initiated a joint development programme with The University of Hertfordshire (“the University”) to develop an electrolyser refuelling system for use in hydrogen internal combustion engine powered cars. Hydrogen can be burnt in conventional internal combustion engines and after conversion, enables the vehicle to produce virtually zero emissions. 

The development programme has been initiated following ITM’s successful cost over life electrolyser testing. ITM’s electrolyser, using water and low tariff electricity, could address the cost issues of hydrogen fuel and the requirement to build a hydrogen refuelling infrastructure. 

The aim of the joint development programme is to improve internal combustion engine emissions; with the potential to bring very significant advances in the global quest to move to zero carbon fuels. 

The programme includes the following objectives:

 • To develop a safe, low-cost modification package for a town car to run on hydrogen and to provide the ability to refuel the vehicle at home or at work, independently of the current fuel delivery infrastructure.

 • To investigate the conversion of existing petrol fuelled electrical generating sets to run on hydrogen produced from zero carbon sources, such as solar and wind.

 • To investigate how the addition of hydrogen to the diesel combustion process can either reduce fuel consumption or pollutants and to provide the necessary on-board hydrogen generator system for diesel engines. 

ITM will own all intellectual property (IP rights) including any new discoveries made during the development carried out under this programme. Jim Heathcote, CEO, ITM Power Plc, said: “We believe this development programme will help to demonstrate the importance of electrolysers for use in the automotive industry. The University is renowned for its close automotive industry relationships, excellent test facilities and high calibre engineers. These capabilities are crucial to the success of this development programme.” 

Derek Eade, Director of Sustainable Energy Technologies, Hertfordshire University added: “We believe that the development programme that we are jointly undertaking could be significant to the automotive industry. We hope it will accelerate the market penetration of clean renewable transportation fuels. Widely distributed electrolysers could address the cost and availability problems that have prevented the adoption of hydrogen as a competitive fuel. We hope the programme will successfully place the University and ITM Power at the forefront of the hydrogen economy.”

Existing electrolysers cost in the region of $2,000/ kW and the US Department of Energy 2010 target is $300/kW for an electrolyser stack. ITM Power has identified low cost electrolysers as a vital component to replace hydrocarbon fuels with hydrogen. ITM has achieved costs as low as $164 / per kW.


Source: ITM Power

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