Ilika secures US patent for fuel cell catalyst

AIM-listed advanced cleantech materials company Ilika has secured a US patent for its fuel cell catalyst, according to a statement issued by the company on Friday morning.

AIM-listed advanced cleantech materials company Ilika has secured a US patent for its fuel cell catalyst, according to a statement issued by the company on Friday morning.

The patent covers the use of Ilika's lower cost metal alloys as electro-catalysts in Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cells.

Platinum-free catalyst

In a fuel cell, a controlled reaction occurs between hydrogen and oxygen. This reaction requires electro-catalysts, which are currently based on the precious metal, platinum.

Ilika has developed a novel platinum-free catalyst which, the company states, has been shown to be 70% cheaper than the current industry standard on a cost/performance basis.

The electro-catalysts were originally discovered using Ilika's high throughput materials development platform at its facility in Southampton, UK and have been manufactured to Ilika's specification by a partner using an industrially-scalable process.

'Step forward'

The company stated that the granting of the patent represented a "significant step forward" in securing the intellectual property in the major markets where Ilika intends to commercialise its proprietary technology.

Further grants of the patent family in other jurisdictions around the world are expected in 2013, the company statement added.

The patent further underpins product development work, which is being supported by the Carbon Trust through a £150,000 equity investment Ilika announced in September 2012.

Commenting on the patent grant, Graeme Purdy, Chief Executive Officer of Ilika, said: "The grant of this patent by the USPTO confirms the novelty and inventiveness of Ilika's intellectual property in this area. The Ilika team is very focussed on ensuring the successful commercialisation of this technology with our key partners".

Ilika's share price was up 4% to 26p at 08:53 on Friday morning.

MF

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