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KTH research behind incredibly cheap fuel cell

Published Jul 19, 2010

Fuel cells are often quoted as being a replacement for the battery. They are environmentally friendly, quiet and can be recharged with new fuel when the power has been depleted. At the same time, the technology is expensive. Researchers at KTH are now hoping for a 50 % reduction in the cost of fuel cells.

Bin Zhu
Bin Zhu, a lecturer at the Department of Energy Technology at KTH.

Per kilowatt hour, it will mean a reduction from USD 400, to USD 200. This is the objective for our future fuel cell, says Bin Zhu, the researcher behind the technology and a lecturer at the Department of Energy Technology at KTH.

This will mean a 50 % reduction in the price which the fuel cell industry has set as its objective.

The key to this is a lower working temperature, according to Bin Zhu. This means that the hived-off company Gett Fuel Cells, which will manufacture and sell the fuel cells, will not need the same expensive materials that are normally used. The company will use a nano composite of cerium oxide with acceptable conductivity even at low working temperatures. This in turn will also mean that the cost will be low.

The fuel cells will be dimensioned for power outputs of between one and five kilowatts. They will for example be used to replace combustion engines with electric motors or to remove the heavy battery from existing electrical motor systems, such as those used with trucks.

The company hopes to be able to develop a commercial product within two to three years.

For more information, contact Bin Zhu at 08 - 790 82 53 or

Peter Larsson

Belongs to: About KTH
Last changed: Jul 19, 2010