Proton Energy Systems awarded key patents for lower cost hydrogen production and purification

ROCKY HILL, Conn., Feb. 14, 2001 (PRNewswire) -- Proton Energy Systems (Nasdaq: PRTN - news), a leader in practical applications of Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) electrochemical technology announced today that it has been awarded two additional patents that enable low cost hydrogen production, purification and compression for industrial, fuel and energy storage applications. To date, Proton Energy Systems has filed 34 U.S. patent applications, and has moved to achieve technology protection in foreign markets by applying for 12 international patents. Development efforts at Proton Energy Systems yield over 100 patent disclosures per year.

Patent No. 6,168,705 issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office covers a novel hydrogen purification and compression system. ``We are excited about the potential for this important new technology that can purify and simultaneously compress hydrogen from a dirty gas stream without relying on moving parts'' stated Trent Molter, Vice President -- Engineering and Technology of Proton Energy Systems. ``This process may have important implications for industrial gas markets, and could serve as a viable purification process for reformate gas in certain fuel cell applications.''

Patent No. 6,117,287 covers enabling new designs for the production of low cost electrolysis cell stacks. Proton Energy is intensively engaged in innovation to lower its capital costs in the production of electrolytic hydrogen generation systems.

``Proton's cost reduction innovations are of particular importance as we develop hydrogen generation systems to be used to provide hydrogen refueling for fuel cells in the emerging automotive fuel cell market,'' said Walter (Chip) Schroeder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Proton Energy Systems.

The Company currently owns patents that protect its low cost electrochemical system packaging features and cell stack innovations leading to significantly reduced product costs.

``Our company's intellectual property strategy calls for patenting key technological innovations embedded in the systems we deliver to our customers. We retain important process technology advancements for manufacturing our product components as trade secret. We believe that this strategy provides Proton Energy critical protection for its key technological innovations,'' continued Molter.

Proton Energy Systems, Inc. ( http://www.protonenergy.com ) designs, develops and manufactures proton exchange membrane, or PEM, electrochemical products that it employs in hydrogen generating devices and in regenerative fuel cell systems that function as power generating and energy storage devices. Proton's HOGEN� hydrogen generators produce hydrogen from electricity and water in a clean and efficient process using its proprietary PEM technology. Proton is currently manufacturing and delivering late stage development models of its hydrogen generators to customers for use in commercial applications. Proton's UNIGEN� regenerative fuel cell systems, which it is currently developing, will combine Proton's hydrogen generation technology with a fuel cell power generator to create an energy device that is able to produce and store the hydrogen fuel it can later use to generate electricity.

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