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Home > Press > Ohio Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher Announces $8.9 Million Funding for Fuel Cell Development

Ohio Third Frontier Fuel Cell Funds for 12 Projects

Ohio Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher Announces $8.9 Million Funding for Fuel Cell Development

Columbus, OH | Posted on March 26th, 2008

Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher today announced that more than $8.9 million in grants have been awarded to 12 entities for the advancement of fuel cell research and production in Ohio. The funds were awarded through the Ohio Third Frontier Fuel Cell Program and are expected to create more than 2,000 jobs.

The 12 companies and research collaborations received awards to assist in Research, Development, and Commercialization Projects of fuel cell technologies or were awarded grants for fuel cell and related technology Market Readiness Demonstration projects.

"Strategic investments from Ohio's Third Frontier Fuel Cell Program have established our state as a global leader in fuel cell innovations," said Lt. Governor Fisher, who also serves as Director of the Ohio Department of Development and Chair of the Third Frontier Commission. "The investments made today will provide additional opportunities for the development and deployment of fuel cell technologies and will continue to spur economic growth in this important industry."

2008 Fuel Cell Program Awards for Market Readiness Demonstrations Projects
HydroGen Corporation, located in Cleveland (Cuyahoga County) was awarded $525,140 for Improved Fuel Cell Power Plant Efficiency Using Cogeneration. HydroGen has completed the construction of the plant at ASHTA Chemicals and has determined that the electrical efficiency of the plant as constructed will be 33 percent. The target efficiency is 44 percent. This project aims to increase the electrical efficiency at the ASHTA Chemical plant. To improve the overall system efficiency and the project's economic viability, HydroGen will add an Organic Rankine Cycle heat recovery unit that will provide additional electric generation to counterbalance the parasitic losses due to the need for hydrogen compression and the non-linear load profile resulting from operating a single fuel cell module.

2008 Fuel Cell Awards for Research, Development, & Commercialization Projects
Crown Equipment Corp., located in New Bremen (Auglaize County) was awarded $977,270 for its Qualification of Lift Trucks for Battery Replacement Fuel Cells project. This project is to qualify targeted models of Crown Equipment's lift trucks to be powered by commercially available battery replacement fuel cell power packs such as those being utilized by Plug Power. Crown will target and qualify as many of its truck models eligible for fuel cell equipment as is practical. This qualification is a critical step in the widespread adoption of fuel cell powered lift trucks.

American Trim, located in Lima (Allen County) was awarded $1 million for its Agile Hybrid Joining of Fuel Cell Bipolar Plates project. American Trim will demonstrate that a 100-percent, full function, scale hydrogen fuel cell product can be made that is cost competitive when compared with an internal combustion engine. Attaining this goal will require the use of new technology that can reliably join foil plates without the complications of other methods.

Energy Technologies, Inc., located in Mansfield (Richland County) was awarded $ 1 million for its Development of a Robust Fuel Cell Generator for Military Applications project. Energy Technologies, Inc., will deliver a fully functional 1.5 kW Tactical Fuel Cell power plant prototype that includes the fuel cell module, replaceable/refillable hydrogen fuel canisters, power electronics, military-spec packaging, all subcomponents, and application and operation manuals. In addition, Energy Technologies intends to establish a new Ohio-based business named Tactical Fuel Cells, in which they will work with Michigan-based fuel cell manufacturer Energy Conversion Devices to produce fuel cell generation sets in the 2 to 10 kW range.

NexTech Materials, Ltd., located in Lewis Center (Delaware County) was awarded $1 million for its Cell Manufacturing for 100+kW SOFC Power Generation System project. NexTech Materials will fabricate and validate "ultra-large" area planar solid oxide fuel cells to be incorporated into 100+ kW power generation systems. Funds will be used to acquire equipment adequate for near-term production needs, establish testing capability for large area cell validation and support an Ohio State University development model.

Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell Systems (US), Inc., located in North Canton (Stark County) was awarded $ 1 million for the development of a High-Pressure Stack Block Test System for a Fuel Cell Power Module Overhaul Facility. Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell Systems is developing a MW-scale solid oxide fuel cell for stationary power generation. This project will help Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell Systems to design, fabricate, and demonstrate a stack block test system and develop a conceptual design for a generator module overhaul facility. This project will also assist Stark State College in developing its fuel cell technician training program, which will offer real world experience to students. Stark State College will assess the training needs of facility personnel and incorporate them into future curriculum.

UltraCell of Ohio, located in Vandalia (Montgomery County) was awarded $1 million for its Increasing Productivity and Reliability of Reformed Methanol Micro Fuel Cells project. The goal of this project is to increase UltraCell's maximum manufacturing capability for its first product, the XX25, a portable, reformed methanol fuel cell, from 800 units/month to more than 3,000 units/month. Completion of the project will move UltraCell's fuel cell from the demonstration phase to market entry.

Catacel Corporation, located in Garrettsville (Portage County) was awarded $445,614 for its High Volume Coating Process for Fuel Cell Catalytic Inserts project. Catacel has developed a catalytic coating process that it uses to produce inexpensive metal foil components for heat exchangers used in fuel cell reformers and other energy conversion processes. This project is aimed at increasing the production rate of one of the key components called an "insert". Catacel will build a pilot-scale production line to develop its catalyst-coated inserts.

GrafTech International Holdings, Inc., located in Parma (Cuyahoga County) was awarded $973,154 toward the commercialization of GRAFCELL Bipolar Plates for Phosphoric Acid Fuel Cell Systems. GrafTech will develop and commercialize bipolar plates for phosphoric acid fuel cells using its expanded natural graphite technology. These activities will build upon GrafTech's prior work developing bipolar plates for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. The goal is to develop a plate with performance equivalent to existing materials but at a much lower cost. GrafTech will produce sheets of graphite material that will then be machined into bipolar plates that will be tested by various fuel cell system developers.

Refractory Specialties Incorporated, located in Sebring (Mahoning County) was awarded $400,000 for its High Purity, Robust Kiln Furniture for Low Cost SOFC Manufacturing project. Refractory Specialties proposes to drive down the cost of manufacturing Solid Oxide Fuel Cell's by developing a kiln setter material that, with a suitable coating, has shown to meet performance requirements. Currently available kiln setters do not meet the technical performance or life requirements of the fuel cell industry. Refractory Specialities will scale-up the setter fabrication and coating process to sizes that could be used for testing by potential customers

2008 Fuel Cell Awards for Applied Research and Development
Akron Polymer Systems, located in Akron (Summit County) was awarded $349,644 for its Nanocomposite Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cells that Operate at High Temperatures project. Akron Polymer Systems will combine the enabling non-aqueous proton carrier technology, that they previously developed under a federal research and development grant, with inorganic nanoparticle technology to prepare a proton electrolyte membrane (PEM) that is suitable for extended use under conditions of high temperature and low relative humidity. They will also produce and test membrane electrode assemblies for use in automotive power systems, portable power systems, and small power systems as well as in military applications such as unmanned air vehicles and directed energy weapons.

Kent State University, located in Kent (Portage County) was awarded $299,548 for its Third Generation PEFC Catalytic Layers project. Platinum loading is a significant contributor to the cost of PEM fuel cells. Kent State University has developed a new approach using a very thin platinum shell on a nickel nano-wire substrate, which decreases the number of subsurface platinum atoms in the catalyst. General Motors has shown interest in testing these materials under its standard testing protocols, however the quantity of material required far exceeds Kent State University's production capacity. This project will allow Kent State University to explore a higher yield catalyst fabrication process and to design and install this equipment at Kent State University.

Created in 2002, the Ohio Fuel Cell Initiative is a $103 million program that aims to spur job creation in Ohio while positioning the State as a national leader in the growing fuel cell industry. The initiative is an integral part of the Third Frontier Project, a $1.6 billion high-tech research program designed to create jobs and bring new products to market.

To date, more than $70 million in funds have been awarded to Fuel Cell projects across the state.


For more information, please click here

Nikki Jaworski
(614) 466-9161
Kelly Schlissberg
(614) 466-4133.

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