AMCI Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ:AMCI) (the “Company”) today announced that Advent Technologies (“Advent”) – with which AMCI has entered into a definitive agreement and plan of merger for a business combination – recently reached an agreement to collaborate with Los Alamos National Labs, University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), University of New Mexico and Toyota Motor North America R&D (TMNA R&D) to continue development of next-generation high-temperature polymer electrolyte membrane (HT-PEM) fuel cell technology for the automotive industry. The program is funded by an Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (“ARPA-E”) OPEN award.
William Hunter, AMCI’s Chief Executive Officer, commented: “This partnership speaks to Advent’s leading role in the fuel cell space. By partnering with prestigious research institutions and companies like Toyota and Los Alamos National Laboratory, Advent will be able to greatly leverage its expertise to deliver efficient and clean hydrogen technology to various sectors in the economy over the next decade.”
Dr. Vasilis Gregoriou, Advent’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer, commented: “We at Advent are committed to bringing HT PEM fuel cell technology to the market. Drawing on our leadership team’s decades of experience, we intend to commercialize and scale-up membrane electrode assembly (MEA) production while working closely with Tier-1 manufacturers and original equipment manufacturers. We believe that HT-PEM represents not only a breakthrough for heavy-duty automotive technology but also for aviation, portable, and off-grid power generation.”
Dr. Emory DeCastro, Advent’s Chief Technology Officer, added: “We are very excited to work with LANL (Los Alamos) and our other partners to advance this technology. These developments have the potential to lead to groundbreaking cost savings – including dropping overall fuel cell system costs by 25% and enabling higher power density and simplify packaging constraints. Furthermore, the potential to use eFuels instead of hydrogen can provide a significantly lower total cost of ownership and allow for faster deployment of fuel cell technology across the industry.”
The purpose of the development program is to use HT-PEM technology operating at 80oC-220oC to achieve a variety of objectives, including:
- High Energy Efficiency: The target efficiency of the HT-PEM simplified fuel cell system is 70% vs. 60% for current incumbent technology; thereby providing a significant total cost of ownership advantage. This is especially important for long haul trucks using hydrogen fuel cells.
- Fast Startup Time: Develop extremely stable fuel-cells that can start under nearly water-saturated conditions.
- Superior Heat Management: Completely remove the external humidifiers/demisters and substantially reduce the size of the radiator. Various industry sources have stated that radiators for Class 8 Trucks running with low-temperature polymer electrolyte membrane (LT-PEM) technology are an enormous challenge. There is evidence that the size of the radiator required to run a Class 8 truck in hot and dry conditions (i.e. in places such as Nevada, Australia, Africa and India) is impractical and will pose a huge challenge for the deployment of current fuel cell technology. Next-generation HT-PEM technology aims to solve this problem.
- Increase Lifetime: Boost tolerance to impurities and improve performance with platinum and non-platinum catalysts.
- Address the hydrogen infrastructure challenge: Allow for the direct reformation of a variety of fuels (natural gas, methanol, ethanol, and zero-carbon emissions eFuels of the future) to low grade (impure) hydrogen within the vehicle, thus bypassing the need for expensive hydrogen storage, transportation, and de/compression technology and hydrogen refill stations.