Hydrogen-on-Demand (HOD) System for Fuel Cell Portable Power Applications
The lack of hydrogen infrastructure has been the major barrier to fuel cell commercialisation, especially for portable applications. Some companies offer hydrogen solutions based on liquid sodium borohydride. These commercial solutions, however, have some drawbacks. Sodium borohydride solution faces problems, such as, precious catalyst with short lifespan, leakage, orientation issues, complex maintenance and impurities in the hydrogen generated. The impurities in hydrogen would accumulate in the anode chamber of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) and deactivate the electro-catalysis of hydrogen oxidation reactions, resulting in system breakdown. The limitations of these commercial products highlighted the need for a hydrogen-on-demand system that satisfies the U.S department of energy's (DOE) standards in terms of system weight, volume, cost and efficiency. The hydrogen-on-demand (HOD) system developed by the technology provider, has the attributes of ease of control, good handling safety, full hydrolysis of NaBH4, low cost catalyst with durable lifespan and high energy density. The HOD system could possibly unify the PEMFC applications by offering common hydrogen platform, and thereby increasing the customers’ flexibility in choosing different products without getting tied to proprietary hydrogen solution. This would help to penetrate and grow the consumer electronics and lifestyle market that is currently dominated by batteries.