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Acta technology enables fuel cells to be run on gasoline

15 September 2005 � Fuel cell technology company Acta today claimed a world first when it revealed a fuel cell run entirely on gasoline incorporating its patent platinum-free catalyst.

The Italian-based form has developed a range of platinum-free catalysts that offer fuel cell manufacturers the option to use gasoline, ethanol or ethylene glycol in addition to the conventional hydrogen and methanol fuels. Acta see the additional of gasoline and ethylene glycol as presenting opportunities for fuel cell use in automotive applications such as providing auxiliary power or even as a replacement for the lead acid battery. Ethylene glycol is already used in cars as a radiator coolant.

“The ability to use gasoline as a fuel demonstrates the extraordinary power and versatility of Acta’s catalyst technology and our commitment to support fuel cell manufacturers in the whole breadth of their activity,” said Acta chief Executive Paulo Bert.

Acta also said it had filed a new patent for the electrolysis of hydrogen from water using significantly less power than currently published technologies. The high energy cost of producing hydrogen is a major hurdle for the development of the hydrogen economy and by lowering the cost of raw materials through the use of cheap abundant metals instead of platinum in its catalyst, Acta is able to offer significant gains.

“We are delighted to add a high performance platinum-free catalyst for electrolysis to our existing catalysts for fuel cells and reformers. The power reductions we have demonstrated today are achieved using a catalyst, which can be industrially priced when volume sales are achieved. This plays an important role in reducing the cost of fuel cells to our everyday lives,” said Bert.