Fuel Cells represents the challenge of the century for sustainable development and rational use of energy sources. Reducing the consumption of fossil fuels and pollution and compensating for the growing energy demand. Over the last 40 years, the joint efforts of companies and research centers has produced many variations (PEM cells , FAFC , MCFC , SOFC), without achieving the goals of efficiency and cost required to develop a commercial fuel cell technology. The current market conditions require a product able to achieve efficiencies of conversion of the chemical energy into electrical energy in excess of 60 %, with technological costs below 1,000 €/kW.
The limits to commercial deployment of PEM Fuel Cell are efficiency and cost. To date, there are no prototypes able to transform chemical energy into electrical energy with a capacity greater than 40%. Moreover, the price of fuel and the high cost of production of the cells (3,000 €/kW), make most of the potential applications of PEM Fuel Cell technically unfeasible.
After 4 years of research, HTE has developed the BFC technology for managing gas supply (Boosted Fuel Cell, PCT patent extended to Europe, USA, Brazil, China). BFC allows to increase the performance of PEM cells by decreasing short-circuit currents inside the cell, with an efficiency of conversion of chemical energy into electrical energy of 92% and with 90% reduction of the catalyst load needed.