Cella Energy, an Oxford-based hydrogen fuel cell production company, has announced their partnership with an unnamed automobile manufacturer to develop its first commercial products based on its hydrogen storage technology. Cella gained significant momentum for the project after winning £40,000 of funding from Shell’s Springboard low-carbon technology competition.
Cella has developed a new method that makes use of nano-materials as a form of hydrogen storage. The nano-materials are called micro-bead and are capable of holding hydrogen at extremely low pressures and are nearly 30 times smaller than a grain of sand.
According to chief executive of Cella Energy, Stephen Voller, the micro-beads are so small they flow like liquid. “The problem with hydrogen,” says Voller, “is that it has to be stored at high pressures, which consumers will look at as a bomb.” Voller claims that this method of storage is also safer than storing hydrogen at high pressures or use of conventional fuels.
Cella is working with their mysterious partner to incorporate the use of these micro-beads alongside conventional fuels. They have a goal of launching vehicles using the additive on the commercial market within the next three years.
Tests are currently underway to perfect the additive formula. Voller states that, because hydrogen is more calorific, the use of micro-beads will increase fuel efficiency and cut back on carbon emissions by a significant margin.
Cella Energy is committed to providing a viable alternative to fossil-fuels and their advances in hydrogen storage will play a vital role in transitioning from old fuels to new fuels.