AFC Energy PLC (LON:AFC) has launched its dedicated Anion Exchange Membrane (AEM) Fuel Cell test facility hosted at the company’s Surrey headquarters.
The design of the new dedicated AEM fuel cell facility was completed in the second half of 2020 with full fit-out now complete in advance of full operation, AFC Energy said.
The “S” Series AEM hydrogen fuel cell, once complete, will create the option for heavy motive applications to deploy alkaline chemistry fuel cells in marine, rail and other heavy motive applications, with cost benefits derived particularly from low capital cost and fuel flexibility, the hydrogen power generation technology company added.
AFC believes the AEM facility will enhance the timely feedback in the performance of the AlkaMem anion (negatively charged ion) exchange membrane in fuel cell applications, further enhancing its development of the membrane for use in other markets.
The new facility will also support AFC Energy’s work in the integration of an in-house developed anionic conducting ionomer within the AEM electrode, which offers higher ion exchange capacity, and therefore improved fuel cell performance.
Pilot fabrication processes for the production of Membrane Electrode Assemblies (MEA) are now fully established within AFC Energy and the fabrication method enables consistent MEA production.
The AIM-listed technology company said the initial design work has concluded on the stack design for the “S” Series AEM fuel cell-based upon its scaled-up MEA. The final build of this unit will be completed in April and will provide the set-up needed to validate the design criteria for the modular 10 kW HydroX-Cell(S) fuel cell stack.
The company has stated its plans to release early commercial-scale HydroX-Cell(S) stacks to the market in late 2022 and remains on track to achieve this timeline.
“Our new world-class AEM hydrogen fuel cell research facility cements AFC Energy at the cutting edge of arguably the world’s most promising, low cost, high energy-dense fuel cell technology. We continue to believe this platform will compete head-on with incumbent high energy-dense fuel cells in the market today such as PEM technologies both on cost and performance, but with all the benefits of our proprietary alkaline chemistry,” said Adam Bond, the chief executive officer of AFC Energy.