Technology

AFC Energy’s alkaline fuel cell technology works by the electrochemical combination of hydrogen and oxygen in a non-combustion process. In doing so it produces electricity, heat and water. Electrical generation will be continuous while fuel cells are provided with a continuous source of hydrogen and oxygen (from air) to sustain the fuel cell reaction.

Alkaline fuel cells’ excellent fuel conversion efficiency and reliability have previously been used on mission critical applications such as those executed by NASA on the Apollo-series missions and on the Space Shuttle, as well as the Arianne and Russian space missions.  Its uses are now being expanded as part of global efforts to decarbonise the global economy, with net-zero 2050 as a key long-term goal.

A key feature in the operation of an alkaline fuel cell is the notable role that the Hydroxyl group (OH ion) contributes to the successful operation of the cell. The importance of the Hydroxyl group is true irrespective of whether it is a liquid electrolyte fuel cell or a solid anionic exchange membrane fuel cell.

In tribute to the Hydroxyl group, AFC Energy uses the HydroX-Cell(L)TM and HydroX-Cell(S)TM terminology to define our fuel cell products.

AFC Energy’s anionic exchange membrane technology, known as AlkaMemTM , also has a further range of potential uses for industry and remains in development at its Research & Development facilities at Dunsfold.

Benefits of Alkaline Fuel Cells

  • Use of lower purity and cheaper hydrogen (better fuel tolerance)
  • More resilient to CO, CO2 and other fuel contaminants
  • Low cost materials and manufacturing steps
  • Scalable units – 10kW base module scalable to multi-MW
  • Long operational life cycle

Fuel Sources

Alkaline fuel cells benefit from the fact that they have a wider fuel tolerance than other types of fuel cell. The AFC Energy HydroX-Cell(L)TM and HydroX-Cell(S)TM are no different in this regard.

 

Our cells can accommodate the following hydrogen fuel sources:

  • Hydrogen generated from cracked ammonia
  • Hydrogen generated from water electrolysis
  • Vented industrial hydrogen streams
  • Hydrogen from reformed biogas
  • Hydrogen from industrial gas merchants

 

Where practical and to ultimately support ease of logistics, AFC Energy is interested in on-site hydrogen generation for point-of-use consumption e.g. cracking of ammonia (NH3) for provision of hydrogen.  AFC Energy remains in dialogue with other developers of proprietary technologies for on-site hydrogen production and looks forward to bringing these developments into our future suite of hydrogen supply options.