The next steps towards the delivery of a commercial alkaline fuel cell system have been taken by industrial fuel cell power company AFC Energy as it confirmed the first commercial order of cathodes had been placed with Industrie De Nora.

The UK-based company said it had placed the order to initiate the mass manufacture of electrode capability and to ensure quality controls are in place to ensure consistency with smaller scale testing. The first delivery is expected by mid-December 2017.

Recently completed design refinements and on-going testing of alkaline fuel cell electrodes with De Nora suggests at least a 12-month electrode longevity at AFC Energy’s facilities in Surrey - achieving the target set for 2017.

A press release said scale-up and integration of cathodes designed with De Nora had now been achieved, with operational data being collected by AFC Energy within its fuel cell stack units in Surrey.

Final design and drawings for fully revised fuel cell stack configuration have been completed, integrating the new cathodes developed with De Nora, after extensive simulation engineering and interrogation by technical teams.

A full system demonstration expected by mid-December 2017 incorporating enhanced stack flow plates, cartridge and associated materials.

AFC Energy’s CEO Adam Bond commented, “We are pleased to have placed this order with our partner De Nora, and also with the results of the recent technical collaboration between teams from Italy, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom. Importantly, all parties continue to believe there is scope for material improvements to further enhance fuel cell performance going forward.”