31 Mar '14, 3pm

Fuel-Cell Technology Boom Hampered by Need for Platinum, GE Says

Fuel-Cell Technology Boom Hampered by Need for Platinum, GE Says

“It’s almost impossible to do a good fuel cell without platinum as a catalyst,” Vlatko Vlatkovic, chief engineering officer of GE’s Power Conversion division, said in an interview in London. “Very little goes in, but if you scale it up, there’s not enough platinum in the world.” GE’s comments reveal constraints that may keep fuel cells from penetrating the energy market as a mainstream technology. Fuel cells use hydrogen or natural gas to generate power through a chemical reaction, and the most common technology needs the scarce element as a catalyst. Shares of U.S. fuel cell companies such as Plug Power Inc. and FuelCell Energy Inc. have surged in the past two months as rising sales convince investors the technology may become a viable alternative to burning fossil fuels to produce electricity. The most common fuel-cell design uses proton-exchange technology, which requir...

Full article: http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2014...

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