Zinc Air Fuel Cell Technology Set To Soar

=== Jan. 13, 2003 ===

Source: Xinmin Evening News, Reporter: Zhang Yun,

When auto industry remains focused on hydrogen fuel cell, a new zinc-air fuel cell technology developed by a US-based company has recently been introduced to Shanghai. The zinc-air fuel cell powered electric bicycles are now available for ordinary consumers in Shanghai.

The biggest advantage of this zinc-air fuel cell powered bicycle is its extended riding range. For the first time, an electric bicycle can run between 50-200 km range. Another unique feature that is different from conventional electric recharge process is that this fuel cell is mechanically refueled and the refuel process only takes about 3 minutes.

Industry insiders are all aware that zinc-air fuel cell technology was first developed more than a hundred years ago. Its specific energy is 5-7 times that of Lead-acid. After spending significant amount of time and resources developing the technology, Powerzinc has made many technology breakthroughs. They overcame the technical barriers in low power, instability, and unreliability. Today Powerzinc is the only company in the world that has commercialized products available to the market. The Company has filed patent applications in the U.S. and more than 126 countries. The Company was co-founded by Chinese Americans.

Zinc-air fuel cell is safe, non-polluting, low cost and refuelable, and produces high energy and high power. Industry experts believe it is an ideal power source for electric cars and electric motor scooters. If the technology is utilized on electric buses, it would greatly reduce air and noise pollution. According to Professor Wang, SiMing, the nation¡¯s renowned scientist in theoretical physics, zinc-air fuel cell is scientifically proven and has tremendous potential in a variety of applications. Powerzinc¡¯s success in zinc-air fuel cell development is also recognized and supported by the US government. On September 2001, Mr. Marvin Singer of Fossil Energy Office of US Department of Energy (DOE) and Mr. Patrick Davis of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Office visited Powerzinc Shanghai plant. Mr. Singer made many positive comments in his report to Assistant Secretary of DOE after the visit. The US-China Energy and Environmental Technology Center, which was formed by US Department of Energy and Ministry of Science and Technology of China (MOST), has strongly recommended Powerzinc¡¯s zinc-air fuel cell to Ministry of Science and Technology of China (MOST) as a key development project.

According to the Company, it has already established R&D center and manufacturing plant. The first generation, commercialized zinc-air fuel cell has passed the evaluation tests of Shanghai Environmental Product Inspection Station. They have just started trial distribution. The company has recently introduced the world¡¯s first zinc-air fuel cell powered passenger car in China.

China has the world¡¯s largest zinc reserve. While the commercialization of hydrogen fuel cell facing the issues with high cost, large investment on infrastructure, and bottleneck of technology, the emerging zinc-air fuel cell technology could pave the way for a faster commercialization of environment-friendly vehicles. And it could become a reality in China.

 


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