ALBANY, N.Y., Dec. 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- MTI MicroFuel Cells Inc. (MTI Micro), a subsidiary of Mechanical Technology Inc. , today announced the filing of its 50th U.S. patent application.
The Company's intention is to commercialize direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) as a future power source for portable electronics in commercial and military markets. MTI Micro has previously announced plans to ship its first product in the fourth quarter of 2004.
"These patent applications are reflective of the very significant technical progress we have made in developing our DMFC system over the past two years," said Dr. Shimshon Gottesfeld, chief technology officer of MTI Micro. "We believe that we have developed a proprietary system that is unique in the field and offers real advantages for manufacturing."
Of the 50 U.S. patent applications filed by MTI Micro to date, 6 patents already have issued. Thirteen international patent applications have also been filed. MTI Micro has developed an extensive portfolio of patent applications in areas including fuel cell systems, components, controls, manufacturing processes, system packaging, and fuel refill and packaging.
In the area of fuel cell systems, MTI Micro has filed patent applications for fuel cell systems design, modifications and improvements to the membrane electrolyte assembly, alternative diffusion layers, and materials.
In addition, MTI Micro has filed patent applications for certain components important to the overall system including a highly efficient DC-to-DC converter, the design of lightweight packaging and controls to optimize operation of the system in varying environmental conditions.
MTI Micro's technological advancements allow 100% methanol to feed directly into the anode side of the fuel cell, minimizing the need for pumps and complicated internal circulation mechanisms required by typical DMFC systems, and obtaining the maximum energy possible out of the fuel.
This summer, MTI Micro's laboratory DMFC systems, operating on 100% methanol, achieved an energy density of 250 Wh/l, which is comparable to that of a typical prismatic Lithium ion battery used to power portable electronic devices such as cell phones. The lab systems also achieved 200 Wh/kg on a weight basis, which surpasses a typical prismatic Lithium ion battery.
MTI Micro also extracted 1Wh/cc from methanol and 1.25 Wh/g on a weight basis from lab systems. To put this in perspective, MTI Micro's current technology -- at par with lithium-ion batteries on energy density -- would allow for one small methanol cartridge or fuel refill to replace two or three back-up lithium-ion batteries, saving space and weight.
MTI Micro's unique and simple system design is intended to permit a lower part count product, a more reliable system, and a less expensive product to manufacture.
"MTI Micro has always focused significant efforts on the strategic development of a sustainable IP portfolio, both to protect our technical advancements and with the intention to establish significant blocking rights with respect to competition," said Dr. William P. Acker, president and CEO of MTI Micro. "We believe our proprietary technology can provide the higher energy content necessary to operate present and future generations of the portable electronics people increasingly want and use."
About MTI MicroFuel Cells
MTI MicroFuel Cells Inc., a subsidiary of Mechanical Technology, Inc., , is developing proprietary direct methanol micro fuel cell systems with the goal of commercialization commencing in 2004. The Company has a world-class team of entrepreneurial business executives, researchers and scientists; a proprietary direct methanol micro fuel cell power system and a number of system prototypes demonstrating size reductions and performance improvements; significant related intellectual property; and has received government awards and developed strategic partnerships to help accelerate commercialization. For more information: http://www.mechtech.com/.
Statements in this press release which are not historical fact including statements regarding managements intentions, hopes, beliefs, expectations, representations, projections, plans or predictions of the future are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements include statements regarding the company's intention to commercialize direct methanol fuel cells as a power source for portable electronics, its plans to ship products in 2004, the uniqueness and advantages of its direct methanol fuel cell system (DMFC), the value or significance of its patent portfolio or any individual patent, the significance and advantage of its simplified design, the potential for its DMFC system to provide higher energy content, lower part count, cheaper costs or reliability. It is important to note that the Company's actual results may differ materially from those in any such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include, among others, risks related to financing, uncertainties in development, manufacturing, competition and consumer demand for DMFCs, and the risk factors listed from time to time in the Company's SEC reports including but not limited to, the annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 2002 and Quarterly Reports on form 10-Q.
MTI MicroFuel Cells Inc.