The production of fuel cells is growing at an increasing rate around the world.  Ballard Power Systems and Synergy have their first order for 10,000 fuel cells for the motor industry.  POSCO and FuelCell Energy are building more fuel cell parks generating both electricity and heat in South Korea.   Intelligent Energy’s fuel cells are unlocking the full potential of the mobile economy. SFC Energy is expanding global sales of off-grid power. Bloom Energy is working with India’s leading natural gas supplier to transform India’s energy future.  ITM Power is extending the hydrogen infrastructure for road vehicles with EU colleagues. The Cygnus Atratus Group is building the future now with hydrogen and ethanol fuel cells powered by domestic, industrial, agricultural and forestry waste.

The summer issue of Fuel Cell Power  explains how fuel cells are meeting demands for clean, low carbon energy and is now available to download.




Fuel  cells are leading the transition to clean, safe energy with the following attributes:  carbon dioxide neutral with renewable energy;   efficiency;  conserves existing stocks of fossil fuels;  useful by-products including high quality heat;   no pollution of atmosphere, soil or oceans;   balancing  intermittent supplies of solar and wind energy;   recycling energy from landfill, agricultural and forestry waste;  water conservation;  and no extensive infrastructure required.

Fuel cells are operating reliably in many applications.  If the real costs of fossil fuels are taken into account, fuel cells can already provide a cost effective alternative and there will be further cost reductions as production increases.


Fuel Cell Power Spring 2016 is now available to download.


Following the deployment of the largest hydrogen fuel cell bus fleet in Europe, Aberdeen is making another clean energy first as the city council’s flagship hydrogen programme introduces hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to the city’s car club.

The availability of the Hyundai ix35 cars will enable many more people to experience the excellent performance of hydrogen fuel cell cars.

schfa aberdeen councilAberdeen City Council secured Transport Scotland funding to buy two Hyundais. This will  encourage businesses and individuals to try out and buy hydrogen vehicles and will also be the next step in building a hydrogen infrastructure in the city and extending the use of hydrogen-fuelled transport throughout Scotland.

The fuel cell cars will be made available for public use on a pay-as-you-go basis later this year, following an initial testing period and a series of promotional events. Councillor Barney Crockett, who chairs the European hydrogen association (HyER) said:  “Once again we are demonstrating that by taking the lead on developing and using new and innovative technologies, we can offer environmentally friendly alternatives to traditional methods of transport which rely on fossil fuels.

Managing director of Co-wheels, Richard Falconer, added:  “Co-wheels has always  pioneered cleaner and greener travel  options, and these hydrogen powered cars are another step toward improving air quality and reducing  COemissions in the city.

We are delighted to be working with Aberdeen City Council to enable residents, council staff and local businesses access to this cutting-edge green driving technology.”

The Hyundai ix35 fuel cell car has similar levels of convenience and performance to conventional internal combustion cars. Its hydrogen capacity gives it a driving range of 525km (326 miles) on a single fuelling. Unlike traditional cars, the hydrogen fuel cell cars produce no harmful emissions, and in fact only produce water vapour at the tail pipe.  Once in full operation, the Hyundais will be fuelled using locally-produced hydrogen.

Derek Mackay, Minister for Transport & Islands said: “Transport Scotland have supported the introduction of these cars to complement Aberdeen’s growing fleet of ultra-low emission vehicles, including buses and vans. The fact that they will be deployed in the car club and be so accessible by the public and council staff as well as by local businesses, means that many more people will be able to experience the benefits of clean and green motoring first hand”.


The Aberdeen hydrogen fuel cell bus project celebrated its first successful year of operation. The fleet travelled 250,000 miles and carried more than 440,000 passengers.

22/02/15 Hydrogen Bus fleet

The buses produce no harmful emissions and have proven to be almost four times more fuel efficient than their diesel equivalents. The hydrogen production and refuelling station achieved 99.9% availability.  It is owned and operated by BOC, a member of the Linde Group.




Councillor Barney Crockett said: “The Aberdeen Hydrogen Bus Project has been a great success story for Aberdeen and all of the partners and funders involved in it. In the space of just a year since we moved into the operational phase, the project has outperformed expectations. It’s been very well received by the bus drivers and members of the public, and has created a real buzz about the city’s hydrogen capabilities. These vehicles have replaced 10 diesel buses on the city’s streets, cutting the amount of toxins polluting our air on a daily basis and helping us work towards making Aberdeen a cleaner, greener city, with a clear focus on low-carbon technologies.

Steve Walker, Managing Director for Stagecoach North Scotland said: “Reaching the first year of operation is a huge milestone for the Aberdeen Hydrogen Bus Project. We are really pleased with how the vehicles are performing on the road and we have had a significant amount of positive feedback from our passengers on the quality of the buses. We are looking forward to the next year of operating the hydrogen powered vehicles.”

David Phillips, First Aberdeen managing director, said: “We are proud of our role as an operator of these ground-breaking hydrogen vehicles and I’m delighted to mark the one year anniversary today. They’ve been an effective addition to our Aberdeen fleet and the feedback we’ve had from both passengers and the drivers who’ve had them on the roads every day has been extremely positive. More public transport journeys are made by bus than any other mode and it’s important we continue to embrace changes that benefit both the passenger and the environment. We are keen to continue to work closely with our partners to ensure that together we achieve real and lasting modal shift.”





The Conference, Exhibition and Partnering Event will be held in

Birmingham, UK.          14th March 2017

Speakers will include representatives from the following organisations:

 ITM Power                          Johnson Matthey

 Hydrogenics                       Intelligent Energy
Ballard                                 Proton Onsite
Logan Energy                     Element Energy
Commercial Group           UlemCo
S.H.F.C.A                             Delta Energy and Environment
Adelan                                 Enterprise Europe Network





In the UK the Government plans to supply low carbon energy with nuclear power, which will require a long term subsidy.  The first generator planned for Hinkley is estimated to cost £18bn and will be followed by several other expensive reactors.   The Government is also seeking to reduce CO2 emissions by improving energy efficiency in buildings. The UK’s housing stock is among the least efficient in Europe according to a recent report by the National Audit Office entitled Green Deal And Energy Company Obligation.  The Government’s ‘Green Deal’ to improve energy efficiency has not been value for money it says.  The report states that over half a million homes were supplied with new boilers, but Fuel Cell Power suggests that, given backing for innovative SMEs, boilers could be replaced by highly efficient fuel cells with heat pumps where needed.  The Government is also faced with the problem of air pollution which is responsible for 40,000 deaths per annum in the UK alone, according to a report by the Royal College of Physicians. Fuel cells could resolve all these issues, with efficiency up to 90% and zero emissions of carbon dioxide and other pollutants.

Engineers at the Cygnus Atratus (Black Swan) Group have been working for the past twenty years to develop cost effective alkaline fuel cells which will enable the generation of electricity and heat with negative carbon dioxide emissions.   A gasified anaerobic digester system (GAD™ ) produces energy from municipal, agricultural or forestry waste.   The ACE™ fuel cells generate electricity with efficiency over 60% and in combined heat and power mode efficiency is up to 90%.

The fuel cells start quickly, operate at around 80°C, have low maintenance and are 95% recyclable. The technology is based upon the original work of the British engineer Dr Francis Bacon who developed the first practical working fuel cell for the Apollo space programme. This technology has had no backing in the UK but engineers have reduced materials costs and can now make fuel cells commercially available.


The system can be operated on site as the electrochemical process has little noise or vibration and there are zero emissions of NOx, SOx and particulates. Usable by-products are heat, methane, syngas, sterile liquid fertiliser, bio-char, nitrogen, pure carbon dioxide and sterile ash. The only emission is potable water.  The electrochemical process separates the carbon dioxide which can then be utilised locally.  Carbon capture and recycling (CCR)  is more efficient than carbon capture and storage (CCS).

The fuel cells can be manufactured locally, using commonly found parts and low cost materials, with advanced processes including 3D mass production. The system can be utilised around the world with telematics managing digestate handling, transport, ph stability, temperature, product gas management, humidity control, gas transmission, reformation control and monitoring, fuel cell operation, water control, fertiliser and terra preta management.  Progress is being made with a low cost electric swing absorber which would enable six times more energy to be obtained from organic waste than is at present being obtained by combustion. The fuel cells can also balance the intermittent loads from wind and solar energy, using hydrogen obtained at times of low demand.


The GAD™ and ACE™ system will be offered at below world average per kWh pricing.   Fuel cells will enable developing countries to improve their economies and indigenous people could have a better quality of life, while eliminating carbon dioxide and other polluting emissions.   The availability of an enhanced income from local agriculture or forestry could discourage further deforestation.  Cygnus Atratus will ensure that a percentage of the income is devoted to the local community, which could help to improve education and further conservation measures.


For transport applications, two fuel cell taxis and a boat have been demonstrated and the technology is now ready for evaluation in another vehicle powered by ethanol, prior to commercialisation.   Most countries have an established liquid refuelling infrastructure and ethanol can be obtained from indigenous sources.

zevco taxi2

The plan is to install ethanol fuel cell stacks in the taxi and drive it from Southern France to   London.  Following the first tour, the taxi will be taken to the USA and driven right across the US, from New York to San Francisco. Then on to China, from Hong Kong to Beijing.   It is anticipated that this will provide significant publicity and serve as a powerful tool to advance the technology and see it applied to transport applications.