Story excerpt provided by The Lima News
Written by Tom Harrison
Ohio stands poised to become a major player in the hydrogen fuel-cell industry, says the head of a statewide coalition of fuel-cell developers.
“Over the years we've seen the industry evolve, and right now we're on a significant upturn,” said Pat Valente, executive director of the Ohio Fuel Cell Coalition. “I see us surpassing some of the other alternative energy areas. Some of this may be because of the economy, but it's also because of the maturity of the industry.”
One hurdle to hydrogen is the limited availability of hydrogen refueling stations. There are a handful, mostly in California. Hydrogen must be manufactured, pressurized and delivered. It can be made from abundant chemical compounds, but hydrogen by itself doesn't exist naturally, said William A. Whittenberger, president of Catacel and chairman of the Ohio Fuel Cell Coalition's board of directors. His Garrettsville-based company makes components for hydrogen production. A recent hydrogen plant Catacel installed for a manufacturer in Guadalajara, Mexico, instantly improved the manufacturer's efficiency by 18 percent, he said.
Catacel is focused on making hydrogen production equipment smaller, cheaper and more efficient, Whittenberger said. That will pave the way for more refueling stations.
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