AFC Energy plc, the industrial fuel cell power company, is pleased to announce that it has signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding with Allied New Technologies Inc (“Allied”), a US chemicals manufacturer, to undertake a feasibility study for a fuel cell system to generate clean energy from surplus hydrogen produced at Allied’s plant in Florida.

The co-operation agreement marks AFC Energy’s first move into the US market and is aimed at lowering Allied’s energy costs by utilising hydrogen produced as a by-product at its chlor-alkaline facility. The hydrogen by-product can be used as a fuel-rich source with AFC Energy’s fuel cells to produce electricity with zero carbon emissions.

AFC Energy will work with Foster Wheeler, a leading engineering and construction contractor, in carrying out the study. The project will examine how electricity produced from stored hydrogen will enable Allied to optimise its chemical plant operations by lowering energy costs.

Ian Williamson, CEO of AFC Energy, said: "This study gives AFC Energy the opportunity to assess the commerciality of its low cost fuel cell technology in the US. We will investigate whether stored hydrogen can be an effective energy time-shift mechanism, automatically providing varying levels of energy to meet the changeable demand that occurs in the chlor-alkali industry. The ability to use such hydrogen ‘buffer’ storage technology is fundamental to all non-baseload renewable generating technologies so that energy can be made available effectively during periods of shortfall or greatest need."

Allied’s Florida plant produces sodium hypochlorite (bleach) used in water treatment and the pool industry.

Michael Koven, Chief Financial Officer of Allied New Technologies, said: "This opportunity will enhance Allied’s ability to lower its unit production cost via use of by-product hydrogen, while simultaneously showing Allied’s commitment to being an energy efficient company."