Australian technology that promises to effectively double the driving range of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles through a major boost in fuel cell conversion efficiency has entered a proof of concept phase, where it will undergo independent testing.
Melbourne-based clean transport innovator Titan Hydrogen said on Tuesday that is was working with the Queensland University of Technology to assess whether its patent pending technology could increase the capacity of fuel cells by up to 60 per cent.
“The Holy Grail for the hydrogen industry is to figure out a way to use less hydrogen to get the same output of energy. We think our fuel cell technology is on the verge of doing that,” said the company’s chair, David Vinson.
“The technology facilitates a more efficient electrochemical reaction in the fuel cell, which means more available energy is produced from the same amount of hydrogen.”
Titan’s hydrogen injection system is not an alternative fuel or engine replacement, but a fuel enhancement system, designed to upgrade petrol and diesel-powered vehicles with minimal installation and minimal financial outlay.
As Vinson points out, this means the technology can ultimately be applied to any fuel cell, but the company is currently targeting application across global automotive, marine and heavy trucking industries.
“We’re undertaking a proof of concept phase through an independent process and it is anticipated the results will validate the confidence we have in our technology. The results will be a potential game changer for the hydrogen fuel cell industry,” he said.
“If the cells show that they can produce more efficient energy, this will validate our technology and be a great first step for Titan and its investors.”
Titan – which is also undertaking a pre-IPO fundraise ahead of plans to become a publicly listed company in 2022 – teamed up with QUT last month, to help to identify crucial improvements to fuel cell efficiencies, including through its own patented technology.
In a statement this week, Titan said part of QUT’s role was to support its R&D with state-of-the-art advanced electrochemical systems and a new scanning electrochemical system, providing the ability to measure electrochemical and corrosion events on the micron scale.
“The aim of the work is to create a new type of hydrogen fuel cell that is not limited by losses caused by the high overpotentials experienced in currently available devices,” said Titan CTO Andrew Dicks, who will lead a team in collaboration with QUT Associate Professor Geoffrey Will.
“The development will investigate the fundamental processes occurring within fuel cells using both electrochemistry and analytical techniques to validate fully the Titan fuel cell concept in which a novel nano-structured membrane is at the heart of the fuel cell.”