Industrial fuel cell power company AFC Energy plc has entered the second phase of its technology development partnership with Industrie De Nora S.p.A.

AFC Energy’s initial Joint Development Agreement (JDA) with the Italy-based business was signed in August 2016 and aimed to further accelerate AFC Energy’s alkaline fuel cell system technology platform, which converts hydrogen (H2) into ‘clean’ electricity.

Having successfully completed the first phase work programme, both groups have now committed further resources and funding to improve the overall performance and economics delivered by the fuel cell system.

As a result, stage two will focus on the integration of the best performing electrodes from the first phase within the enhanced fuel cell stack to create a baseline technology platform.

This system will then be mass produced and validated at AFC Energy’s industrial facility in Stade, Germany, in the second half of 2017. The validation will include the metrics associated with power output, longevity, efficiency and availability.

Under this next phase, both parties expect to finalise the design of a commercial fuel cell electrode and stack for commercial applications within the year. They also expect to settle terms for a long-term electrode supply agreement.

“The synergies between our two organisations are clear as it is evident in the market growth and demand for fuel cells”

Luca Buonerba, De Nora’s Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer

Luca Buonerba, De Nora’s Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer, commented, “The synergies between our two organisations are clear as it is evident in the market growth and demand for fuel cells. This provides De Nora market access to a technology complementary to our own and aligns strategically the two organisations.”

AFC Energy and De Nora joint development agreement status update and annual report

AFC Energy’s CEO Adam Bond added, “De Nora’s manufacturing know-how, scale-up capability and ability to warrant electrode performance further validates AFC Energy’s product offering and potential global reach.”

In January 2016, AFC Energy’s POWER-UP project demonstrated the world’s largest operational alkaline fuel cell system at Air Products’ industrial gas plant in Stade. 

In the operation, the company successfully delivered gross electrical output in excess of 200kW and it was the first time that all three tiers of its KORE fuel cell system worked in parallel with each other to dispatch power into the German grid.