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Environment

Fuel-cell venture formed

March 20, 2006 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 84, ISSUE 12

BASF and Tekion, a Canadian fuel-cell developer, have teamed up to exploit formic acid as the fuel for Tekion's portable fuel-cell technology. Formic acid is typically used to disinfect beer kegs and remove rust from metallic surfaces. BASF, which claims to be the world's leading supplier of formic acid, says it is "fascinated" by the Tekion technology. The two firms plan to develop a formic acid formulation to work in Tekion's fuel cells, develop standards for the fuel cells, and share expertise on materials compatible with the technology. Tekion's miniature fuel cells can be recharged with formic acid-containing cartridges and are designed to run battery-powered devices such as notebook computers. Millennium Cell is developing a similar portable fuel cell and about five years ago began collaborating with Rohm and Haas to develop sodium borohydride to power the device.

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