Titan Hydrogen claims their patent-pending technique can “essentially double” vehicle driving ranges by allowing a fuel cell to create more electricity from the same amount of hydrogen, according to Queensland University of Technology (QUT).
The Australian firm claims that its technique can boost fuel cell capacity by up to 60%, and it is currently in the proof of concept stage, where it will be subjected to an independent validation process. In a statement, David Vinson, Chairman of Titan Hydrogen Limited, said, “The technique permits a more effective electrochemical reaction in the fuel cell, which means more usable energy is produced from the same amount of hydrogen.”
Interim results from the QUT testing process are expected by the end of the year, according to Vinson, with Andrew Dicks leading the research team in partnership with Associate Professor Geoffrey Will. “The project will use electrochemistry and analytical tools to explore the fundamental processes that occur within fuel cells in order to completely validate the Titan fuel cell idea, in which an unique nanostructured membrane is at the heart of the fuel cell,” Dicks stated. “The goal of this research is to develop a new form of hydrogen fuel cell that is not constrained by losses produced by significant overpotentials in currently available devices,” he continued.
Low-temperature Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cells have a low efficiency at the moment, converting less than 40% of hydrogen energy into electricity. Fuel cell technology must overcome this low conversion efficiency in order to make hydrogen a viable transportation fuel. The ‘round trip’ efficiency of using hydrogen to store electricity is now as low as 50%, compared to batteries, which can approach 90%.
Titan Hydrogen, which has gotten little press thus far, believes that its technology is a “breakthrough” in overcoming this. “Finding a technique to consume less hydrogen to produce the same energy output is the Holy Grail for the hydrogen sector. The company’s chairman stated, “We believe our fuel cell technology is on the verge of doing it.”
“If the cells demonstrate that they can create more efficient energy, this will confirm our technology and be a terrific first step for Titan and its investors,” said Vinson. “The technology can be used in the automotive, marine, and heavy trucking industries all around the world. The technology can be applied to any fuel cell in the future.” Titan is actively raising money in preparation for an IPO in 2022, with the goal of becoming a publicly traded business.