ITM-Power's new polymer cuts the cost of membrane polymer
John Dodge, Editor-in-Chief -- Design News, July 14, 2008
A British company is claiming a breakthrough in electrolyser and fuel cell technology that promises to knock down one of hydrogen’s cost barriers.
ITM-Power Plc of Saffron Waldon has developed a new polymer eight years in the making that its CEO Jim Heathcote claims cuts the cost of a square meter of membrane polymer from $500 to $5. Electrolyser membranes separate hydrogen from oxygen and convert it into an energy-carrying gas. In a fuel cell, the membrane separates hydrogen protons from electrons, which produce electrical current.
“The membrane is the most expensive component in an electrolyser,” says Heathcote. Now that ITM has built an electrolyser to demonstrate its membrane technology, it’s ready to license its patented membrane technology to electrolyser makers such as Proton Energy Systems or GE here or Norsk Hydro in Norway.