WeylChem Sustainable Materials to Produce Multi-Purpose Compound to Power Fuel Cell Devices

WeylChem to Produce Multi-Purpose Compound to Power Fuel Cell Devices

Orlando, FL -- November 01, 2011- WeylChem Sustainable Materials (WCSM), a subsidiary of WeylChem US Inc., located in Elgin, South Carolina, announced the launch of its commercial scale production in the Columbia, SC, region of hydrogen-rich ammonia borane, a multi-purpose compound that can be used to efficiently power fuel cell devices among other commercial uses during a presentation with the USC-City of Columbia Fuel Cell Collaborative today at the 2011 Fuel Cell Seminar & Exposition in Orlando, FL. This news comes one year after WCSM was awarded first place in the 2010 Greater Columbia Fuel Cell Challenge, an annual innovation-based business plan competition organized by the award-winning USC-City of Columbia Fuel Cell Collaborative, for their innovative and cost-effective method of producing the fuel with a high level of purity, its potential for multiple market applications, and the unique partnership the firm formed with a local Columbia group.

WCSM is leveraging its proprietary production process to create commercial scale quantities of the compound, which will reduce its overall cost and provide a steady supply to commercial consumers. The reduced cost will make the chemical a more attractive fuel option for fuel cell driven devices such as those manufactured by Columbia-based Trulite, Inc., a portable fuel cell solutions firm.

WeylChem, based in Germany with operations in the US, first partnered with Columbia-based Boroscience International in 2009 to develop a viable process to produce commercial quantities of the compound. The compound is primarily considered a break-through environmentally-friendly fuel for fuel cell driven devices. However, it can also be used as a high energy additive to satellite and jet fuel propellants and has applications in the pharmaceutical, electronic, ceramic and nanotechnology industries.

“The initiation of commercial production shows the industry that we’ve produced a product ready to enter the commercial market,” said Dr. Andreas Maier, managing director for WeylChem International, GmbH. “The demand for viable fuel cell solutions and a continuous supply of ammonia borane is increasing rapidly, and we believe WeylChem will be the premier supplier of the compound as an affordable and scalable commercial solution to meet that demand.”

The new process will benefit end users seeking to integrate the compound in industrial applications by producing large quantities of ammonia borane at a purity of over 99%, a feat WeylChem claims it is the first to do in the industry. As a fuel source, the compound’s high purity will deliver a more even burst of energy making it more efficient when compared to less pure version of the compound. Additionally, the high purity makes the product more stable for safer storage in comparison to other products. The production unit will be a retrofit of a current WeylChem US facility located in Elgin, SC. As market demand increases for the product line, WCSM will continue to scale-up the pilot production.

“We’re thrilled WCSM has been able to continue its success since winning the Greater Columbia Fuel Cell Challenge,” said Don Herriot, director of Innovista at the University of South Carolina, which is a member organization of the USC-City of Columbia Fuel Cell Collaborative. “We hope WCSM continues to take advantage of our region’s track record of attracting and retaining talented researchers, entrepreneurs and firms in the fuel cell industry by continuing to invest their resources here.”

WCSM’s production milestone adds to a growing list of fuel cell and hydrogen focused activity in the Columbia, SC, region. WCSM joins other new fuel cell related businesses locating to the Columbia region, including Trulite, Inc., which relocated to Columbia in 2009, and LOGANEnergy Carolina, a world-leader in providing fuel cell solutions for clean energy services, which opened its doors in Columbia in July 2011. Additionally, South Carolina was recognized as a “Top 5 Fuel Cell State” by Fuel Cells 2000 in July 2011 in its annual State of the States report, and the USC-City of Columbia Fuel Cell Collaborative was recognized in September 2011 by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) with an Excellence in Economic Development Award.

WCSM and the USC-City of Columbia Fuel Cell Collaborative are representing Columbia, SC’s fuel cell economy at the 2011 Fuel Cell Seminar & Exposition, in Orlando, FL, from November 1 through November 3, 2011, which is the annual gathering of the industry’s top fuel cell researchers, experts, and vendors.

About WeylChem Sustainable Materials
WCSM is a fully owned subsidiary of WeylChem US Inc, a chemical manufacturing company with more than 40 years of experience in organic chemistry and uses a modular system of chemical reactions including more than 50 reaction types. The Elgin, SC plant is a safe, reliable and cost competitive US production facility. It utilizes a flexible asset base that can perform multipurpose chemistry from pilot plant quantities to large scale production. WeylChem is continuously looking for and implementing new and novel technologies and hardware respectively in order to satisfy customers demand for more faster, economic and more efficient processes. A wide range of technologies is handled, allowing us to flexibly develop and install products whose synthesis involves various and complex reaction pathways. WCSM is another step in the same direction. For more information, visit www.weylchem.com.

About the USC-City of Columbia Fuel Cell Collaborative
The USC–Columbia Fuel Cell Collaborative was formed by the University of South Carolina, the City of Columbia, EngenuitySC and SCRA, to position Columbia, S.C., as a leader in hydrogen fuel cell innovation and technology. Its mission is to attract private sector partners, top fuel cell scientists, entrepreneurs, and innovators to the Columbia region to help grow an innovation pipeline from discovery to development to deployment of fuel cell technology. For more information, visit www.fuelcellcollaborative.com.


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