`Alkaline Hydrocarbon Electrolyte Membrane was Proposed `

Arranged by T. HOMMA
1.National Policy
2.International Activities
3.SOFC Development and Demonstration
4.Development of Anion Exchange Type AFC
5.Elementary Technologies R&D for PEFC and DMFC
6.Demonstration and Business Deployment of Home Use PEFC
7.FCV Forefront
8.FC Driven Mobiles
9.Technology Development for Hydrogen Formation and Purification
10.Technology Development and Business for Hydrogen Transport and Storage
11.Scenario of Infrastructure for Hydrogen Supply
12.Development and Business Deployment of FC for Portable equipments
13.Development of Portable FC
14.Observational and Metrological Systems Related with FC and Hydrogen

1.National Policy
@Both of Japanese and US governments are going to negotiate with other main countries (G8) for reduction and abolition of tariffs on energy conservation goods as one of measures against global warming. They are aiming at agreement at the summit in 2008. By worldwide propagation of energy conservation goods, trade expansion becomes compatible with measures against global warming. The objectives are environment conscious vehicles like hybrid cars, FC, solar photovoltaic panels, power generators by wind and water, and their related components. [The Chunichi Shimbun, The Chugoku Shimbun, The Hokkaido Shimbun Sept. 27, 2007]

2.International Activities
@World forum for harmonization of automobile technical standards by UN (WP 29) started task work for establishment of world unified standards of hydrogen FCV. Recently the first working group meeting on world unified technical standards of hydrogen and FCV for safety was held in Germany, and full discussion was started. Japan had established the technical standards as the forerunner, so that the world technical standards are going to be discussed by referring the Japanese standards, while the Japanese representative, Mr. Narusawa (the chief of section for certification and international harmonization of automobile standards in the research institute for transportation safety) took the chair in the meeting. Hereafter the meeting will be held 3 or 4 times per year, and the aim is to establish the world@unified standards by 2010. The objective is FCV using compressed hydrogen gas as fuel, and Japanese Ministry of Land, Transport and Infrastructure had formulated the technical standards on safety and environment in revision of safety standards in law on transport vehicles on roads in March of 2005. In Japanese safety standards structure for no hydrogen leakage and no hydrogen remaining is defined, while technical conditions for preventing hydrogen leakage at crash are also described to keep safety in the same level as gasoline engine cars. Because high voltage is generated by@FC stacks, technical conditions for prevention from electric shock are also formulated on the base of ECE rules established in UN agreement for electric vehicles in 1958. [The Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun (automovile) Sept. 28, 2007]

3.SOFC Development and Demonstration
(1)Osaka Gas Co., Ltd.
@The company reduced by 30% the installing area for home use SOFC cogeneration system. It achieved downsizing of the exhausted heat recovery unit for hot water supply and heating, and also reduction of maintenance space in the generating unit was made. Thus the area is reduced to about 1.4 m2, i.e., 1940 mm wide and 710 - 760 mm deep. The compact exhausted heat unit was developed with Chofu Seisakusho Co., Ltd. Using a single vessel for hot water supply, the outside radiator was put inside. Thus the depth was by 10% reduced. The weight was also about 15% reduced and it is 89 kg. On the other hand, reduction in the maintenance space of the generating unit was done with Kyocera Corp. Maintenance of components at the back can be done from the front side, by setting the base plates of electronic circuits like doors. In the conventional one the base plates were fixed, so that a technician must made maintenance from the back side. By the present improvement it becomes unnecessary to secure the space for the maintenance. To make the full line up, Osaka Gas Co., Ltd. makes SOFC systems small, so that they can be installed at narrow sites in houses. They are aiming at real commercialization in 2008. The electric efficiency and exhausted heat recovery efficiency are 45% and 30% respectively. [The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology) Oct. 9, 2007]

(2)NGK Spark Plug Co., Ltd.
@On October 10, 2007 the company announced that it has developed 1 kW SOFC of 0.73 W/cm2 power density. Unique sensor technology and electronic circuit technology were combined with the cell stacks developed by functional ceramics technology and process technology in order to twice increase the power than the conventional ones. In the SOFC stack developed at present, 15 plate cells of 100 cm2 effective area are stacked up (180 X 180 X 70 mm). It is half of the conventional one. The power density at 700oC is more than 0.73 W/cm2. In the stack exothermic parts and endothermic parts are assembled into a single structure, and auxiliary functional layers, such as power generating parts, reforming catalyst layers, burning layers, pre-heating layers etc., form into a unified independent stack. Based on a unique concept gas and temperature are controlled using its own automobile sensors. The company is anticipating that market of small cogeneration systems of 700 W - several kW output class is the first target, and the policy of the company is to raise up SOFC business to 50 billion yen scale. [The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology), The Chemical Daily Oct. 11, 2007]

4.Development of Anion Exchange Type AFC
@On Sept. 14 Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd. published that it developed anion exchange type FC with National Research Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology. This FC does not need expensive platinum (\4,500/g) for electrode catalysts. Because alkaline hydrocarbon electrolyte membrane is used instead of strongly acidic membrane, inexpensive metals, such as nickel and cobalt, can be used for electrode catalysts, large cost reduction is possible. Hydrated hydrazine (liquid) obtained by oxidation of ammonia is used as fuel. This substance has been used as industrial material in production of sponge, and one of its characteristic points is easy handling. For instance, it is able to carry it in the ambient temperature. Using specific resin, this material is solidified in a fuel tank, and by adding hot water it is liquefied again. This fuel technology has also been developed. @A paper describing the research results was recognized as an important paper in a German chemical academic journal "Angewante Chemie." At present the R&D are still in a stage of fundamental research. The company said "The period for real installation in real vehicles is not in sight," but the company "is anticipating early real use with wide range partnership." [The Yomiuri Shimbun, The Asahi Shimbun, The Sankei Shimbun, The Nihon Keizai Shimbun, The Fuji Sankei Business Eye, The Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun (automobile), The Tokyo Shimbun, The Chugoku Shimbun, The Nishinihon Shimbun, The Hokkaido Shimbun Sept. 15, 2007, The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology) Sept. 17, 2007, The Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun (economy and industry), The Chemical Daily Sept. 18, 2007 and The Denki Shimbun (electricity) Sept. 19, 2007]

5.Elementary Technologies R&D for PEFC and DMFC
(1)Hokkaido University
@An associate professor, Prof. Shuto and his co-workers have developed technology to increase output power. By improving materials for separators, methanol as fuel and oxygen are supplied well, and maximum output was increased by 30 - 40% compared with conventional ones. They made separators fitted to 5 cm square electrodes and for the separators they used stainless steel sponge with numerous fine pores (0.3 - 0.4 mm), so that methanol and oxygen are efficiently supplied through the pores. By this technique the fuel and oxygen can be supplied efficiently, while reaction products, such as CO2 and water, can be easily thrown away. It was confirmed by experiment that the maximum output per unit area was increased by 30 - 40%. It is still in fundamental research level, but negotiations are started with metal producers. [The Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun (economy and industry) Sept. 25, 2007]

(2)Nakajimakinnzoku. Co. Ltd
@A company specified in electroplating, Nakajima Metal (Kyoto city) succeeded in development of electrodes for PEFC by electroplating platinum on titanium. The amount of used platinum was decreased to 1/1000 compared with conventional electrodes. In the new process the company developed, metal of minimum 10 nm in diameter can be made by changing temperature and current density in 10 steps, and the newly formed metal particles are by one tenth smaller than conventional ones. Piling up metal particles of different sizes, electroplated layers without openings are formed. Thus the inner layers are prevented from contact with electrolyte of strong acidity. In usual electroplating procedure current and temperature are not changed, so that metal particles of the same size are piled up and openings become causes for inner corrosion. The electroplating process of platinum is investigated in universities and other research institutes for PEFC electrodes, but it has not yet been completed as a practical process. The company intends to improve electroplating solution to make thinner layers for cost reduction and aims at real use within 3 years. [The Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun (economy and industry) Sept. 26, 2007]

(3)Hyogo Prefectural University
@Prof. Yazawa et al. in the above university have developed proton-conducting membrane of flexibility and thermal endurance and tested its power generating performance by experiments. The fundamental point is nano-meter level composite of silica of good proton-conductivity and flexibility. After covering a porous stainless steel tube of 6 mm diameter with platinum to form a hydrogen electrode, it is dipped in solution containing silica and drawn up at a constant speed. Thus proton-conducting membrane is coated. Then an oxygen electrode is made on the conducting membrane to form a single cell of unified electrodes and membrane. Power generation experiments were done by flowing hydrogen inside the tube and oxygen outside in the temperature range from the room temperature to about 200oC. Through the fine pores of the stainless steel tube hydrogen diffuses to surface of the proton-conducting membrane, so that hydrogen can be supplied to the membrane surface. The stainless steel tube takes a role of the separator, and at the same time it plays a role of a current corrector (lead wire) for efficiently leading electrons formed at the hydrogen electrode to the outside circuit. The developed electro-conductive membrane has thermal endurance above 200oC, and, furthermore, it is a characteristic point to work in low humidity. The membrane formed from the solution has good adherence and thus ion migration to the electrode surface was improved. By piling up the single cells high power output can be made, and application of this PEFC to automobile is expected. [The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology) Sept. 27, 2007]

(4)Science Labs., Inc.
@The above company in Matsudo city of Chiba prefecture developed fullerene bonded with phosphonic acid, that with sulfonic acid and fullerene with both acids for preventing electrolyte membrane from oxidation. The company is a Japanese representative of a US company, MER, and it has been working for propagation and expansion of fullerene for a long time. Since summer of 2006 it is making applied research and it presented a patent application "chemical modification and its production methods; proton conductive membrane containing chemically modified fullerene" in Nov. of 2006. This patent was approved in July of 2007. Based on this basic patent four patents including "fullerene derivatives and their production methods" were applied. By this technology the company intends to contribute to elongate FC life by retarding degradation due to oxidation of the electrolyte membrane. Fullerene with phosphonic acid cross-linked with cerium ion is used by mixing with or adding catalyst ink to matrix polymer of the electrolyte membrane. OH radical deteriorating the electrolyte membrane is removed with fullerene and cerium ion deactivates it. Because phosphonic acid groups are cross-linked with metal ion, it is not soluble, and proton-conducting sufonic acid is co-existing so that the conductivity is increased. Because fullerene derivatives do not react chemically with aromatic rings in polyether sulphone, the membrane formation can be done by casting polymer solution on a glass plate, so that homogeneity of proton-conducting groups distribution is high. For fluorocarbon electrolyte operation without addition of humidity is expected. In the electrolyte 4 sulphonic acid groups are reacted with 1 fullerene molecule, so that chemical structure is feasible, in which water formed by chemical reaction with polybenzimidazole does not flow out sulphonic acid. Thus non-humidified membrane seems feasible, and this is also one of research themes. [The Chemical Daily Oct. 10, 2007]

6.Demonstration and Business Deployment of Home-Use PEFC
(1)Nippon Oil Corp.
@On Sept. 14, 2007 the company announced that it started OEM supply of home-use FC to Japan Energy Corp. The company was going to start OEM supply also to Cosmo Oil Co., Ltd. around October. [The Nihon Keizai Shimbun Sept. 15, 2007, The Denki Shimbun (electricity), The Chemical Daily Sept. 19, 2007, The Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun (economy and industry) Sept. 21, 2007 and The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology) Sept. 27, 2007]
@The above company published on Oct. 1, 2007 that it began to receive application of home-use FC installation in 2008 fiscal year. This is because large-scale demonstration by NEF was going to extend by 1 year to 2008 fiscal year. The company installed 435 sets until the end of 2006 fiscal year and 396 sets in 2007 fiscal year, and several hundreds sets are programmed to be installed in 2008 fiscal year. The planned FC's are 1 kW class using LPG or kerosene and the sites are detached houses. It is 3 year contract and the user pays 60 thousand yen per year. [The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology) Oct. 2, 2007, The Denki Shimbun (electricity) Oct. 9, 2007 and The Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun (economy and industry) Oct. 10, 2007]

(2)T.Rad Co., Ltd.
@The company, whose main business is heat exchangers including radiators for automobiles, has developed hydrogen producing equipments (reformers) for home-use FC, and low price and high efficiency are both achieved. A new structure was adopted in which exhausted heat in hydrogen production process is used for preliminary heating of fuel gas. The efficiency is kept at the same level as present general high-efficiency equipments, while the price was reduced to be 1/3. In this equipment "internal combustion scheme" is adopted and heat evolved by catalyst reaction is used in hydrogen production. Three concentric tubes are used and fuel gas flows in the outer part and catalyst is in the middle part, the central part being used for hydrogen production and oxygen supply. Heat evolved by catalytic reaction in the middle part is about 700oC and it heats fuel gas up to 500oC. Heated fuel gas changes gradually to hydrogen (preliminary reforming), and the reaction is accelerated in the catalytic part. The efficiency of hydrogen production is 92%, and it is roughly the same as that of "external heating scheme" i.e., heating with gas burners. The size is 20 cm long, 32 cm wide and 50 cm high. It is about 2/3 compared with that of the external heating scheme and the same as "internal combustion scheme." Nickel based catalyst is used instead for ruthenium base catalyst of expensive noble metal. In conventional reformers reactors for converting CO to CO2 are necessary, but in the present equipment it is unified with the reformer to reduce number of components for cost reduction. It was stated that the price is lower than that of conventional internal combustion equipments. If it is produced in scale of 1000 per year, the price would be 200,000 yen, and the company is aiming at below 100,000 yen in production scale of 10,000 sets per year in 2012. It also promotes R&D of reformers for kerosene etc except town gas. [The Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun (economy and industry) Oct. 4, 2007]

(3)Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd.
@The company stated on Oct. 10, 2007 that it is going to inject home-use PEFC systems using kerosene into market in 2008 fiscal year. This FC has been developed by Toshiba FC Systems Corp. About 10 sets will be installed in general homes to get data under real operation and aims at future commercialization. For commercialization of kerosene fueled PEFC Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd. offered hydrogen production technology to Toshiba FC Systems Corp., and then Toshiba FC Systems Corp. succeeded in development of the kerosene fueled FC by improving LPG fueled FC. The rated output is 700 W and the overall efficiency is more than 85%. [The Denki Shimbun (electricity), The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology) and The Fuji Sankei Business Eye Oct. 11, 2007]

7.FCV Forefront
(1)Toyota Motor Corp.
@On Sept. 28, 2007 the company set forth a new FCV (Toyota FCHV), the range of which is by 2.4 times longer than conventional ones. It was developed on a base of a body of the multi-purpose sport type car (SUV), "Kluger" and the mileage is increased by 25% by improving PEFC and control system. Furthermore hydrogen storage amount is two times increased to 6 kg by increase in storage pressure. Thus range by one charge of hydrogen fuel is about 780 km (10.15 mode operation). On Sept. 28, 2007 two cars of this type of FCV ran from the front of Osaka Prefecture office to Odaiba in Tokyo (about 560 km) consuming 70% of fully charged hydrogen. The company said "One of tasks for real use, i.e., the range could be cleared up." In the near future the company is going to start lease sales to governments etc. As to the hardest task, i.e., cost, the price at present is several tens million yen assuming mass production. An executive officer, Mr. Masuda said at the press release "the price cannot be stated concretely but still fairly high. For real use further break through is needed." [The Yomiuri Shimbun, The Asahi Shimbun, The Mainichi Shimbun, The Nihon Keizai Shimbun, The Sankei Shimbun, The Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun (automobile), The Tokyo Shimbun, The Chunichi Shimbun, The Chugoku Shimbun, The Nishinihon Shimbun, The Hokkaido Shimbun, The Kahoku Shimpo, The Fuji Sankei Business Eye Sept. 29, 2007, The Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun (economy and industry), The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology) Oct. 1, 2007 and The Denki Shimbun (electricity) Oct. 10, 2007]

(2)Suzuki Motor Corp.
@On Sept. 28, 2007 the company published outline of automobiles to be displayed in Tokyo Motor Show to be held since Oct. 26, 2007. The highlight is futuristic single passenger electric car "PIXY." It can be jointed to a light car type equipment "SSC (Suzuki Sharing Coach) with a passenger on the seat, and they are transformed to an FCV with the maximum speed of 100 km/h. The Maximum speed of PIXY is as fast as an walking man, but the width is only 87.5 cm, so that it can go anywhere, and the points are ease and simplicity. On the other hand SSC is assumed to be used for long distance transport. The company said "We believe that they would be a quite new urban transport tool, and they anticipate real use about 2030." [The Asahi Shimbun, The Sankei Shimbun, The Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun (automobile) and The Fuji Sankei Business Eye Sept. 29, 2007]

8.FC Driven Mobiles
(1)Suzuki Motor Corp.
@The company is going to exhibit a new modified model of wheelchair "MIO" in the 34th International Exhibition of Welfare Tools as a reference. It is a modified model of DMFC driven handle type electric wheelchair released in 2006. The range of the old model is 40 km with 4 L fully charged methanol, while for the new model it increased by 1.5 times to 60 km by increase in the mileage. Additionally a cassette type auxiliary fuel bottle (0.5 L) is attached to be free from fuel exhaustion. It is a remarkable point that the design was made consciously of future mass production. [The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology), The Shizuoka Shimbun Oct. 3, 2007 and The Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun (economy and industry) Oct. 11, 2007]
@The company set forth a bike to be exhibited at Tokyo Motor Show. Totally 13 models are going to be shown, including a concept car "Biplane" imaging a biplane, FCV "crosscage" with small and light FC made by a UK company, Intelligent Energy and so on.

(2)Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.
@On Oct. 5, 2007 the company published DMFC driven bike "FC-Dii" to be exhibited at Tokyo Motor Show. They have been improving performance of FCV under R&D for real use, and detachable lithium ion batteries can also be used together. [The Tokyo Shimbun, The Shizuoka Shimbun, The Nishinihon Shimbun, The Fuji Sankei Business Eye Oct. 6, 2007 and The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology) Oct. 8, 2007]
9.Technology Development for Hydrogen Formation and Purification
@Sapporo Breweries, Ltd., developed technology to efficiently produce hydrogen from waste in bread making process. By using hop, breeding of miscellaneous bacteria is suppressed and the aimed fermentation is promoted. Thus the energy recovery efficiency is 80%. It is unnecessary to heat materials for sterilization, so that the unique point is that this energy consumption is avoided.
@A little amount of hop used in brewing process is added into a hydrogen fermentation tank for continuous hydrogen production. The details are as follows. Waste in bakery process is mixed with water and poured into a fermentation tank. If it is heated, saccharides like glucose in the waste are fermented to form hydrogen. However, by adding hop they succeeded in the suppression of miscellaneous bacteria and the fermentation without heating. Wasted hop in usual beer production can be used in this fermentation. In cooperation with a factory making bread, waste had been thrown into a hydrogen fermentation reactor (900 L capacity) for 180 days, and energy of glucose in the waste can be recovered at 80% level. Because the research has reached to the level of real production, efficiency, operating conditions etc. will be confirmed with a large reactor. If in real process methane fermentation is introduced@after hydrogen fermentation, residual energy could be recovered, and it is estimated that 55 - 60% of energy could be recovered subtracting thrown energy. In a factory with infrastructure using hydrogen with FC, waste could efficiently converted to electric power. Hereafter, the company will solicit collaborative partners to aim at real use, while modification will be made to get efficiently hydrogen from other food waste, grass and woods. The company estimated that if about 20% of unused food waste is converted by this technology, annually about 5.9 million GJ of hydrogen energy can be produced. [The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology) Sept. 21, 2007 and The Nihon Keizai Shimbun Oct. 5, 2007]

10.Development and Business of Hydrogen Transport and Storage Technology
@On Oct. 10, 2007 Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. announced its delivery of an ISO 40 feet type container for liquid hydrogen, with which self-compression is possible. It was delivered to Iwatani International Corp. This is the first delivery of a liquid hydrogen container developed by the company. Storage efficiency of the container was tried to increase by utilizing space at the maximum. For charging to other stationary tanks and also for charging to other hydrogen equipments, hydrogen transfer can be done with an attached evaporator for compression without any external compressor. [The Chemical Daily Oct. 11, 2007]

11.Scenario of Infrastructure for Hydrogen Supply
@Recently The Institute of Applied Energy held monthly research meeting, and Mr. Nakamura, vice-director of project research, delivered a lecture entitled "Scenario of Infrastructure for Hydrogen Supply." He pointed out problems in hydrogen supply and said "Ratio of fixed cost to total cost of hydrogen supply is high and about 60% even in 2020 which is said to be the year for real propagation of FCV." As to hydrogen supply infrastructure he said as a forecast "In capital district at about 100 gas stations and CNG stations hydrogen stations can be built together at present, and in all over Japan at about 300 stations it is also possible now. But although about 3,500 hydrogen stations attached with gas and/or CNG stations are estimated to be necessary in real propagation period, it would be hard. [The Denki Shimbun (electricity) Oct. 2, 2007]

12.Development and Business Deployment of FC for Portable equipments
(1)Standardization of FC for IT equipments
@Since 2008 Toshiba Corp. Hitachi, Ltd., Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. and others are going to commercialize small FC for portable telephones, personal computers etc successively. In harmony with these trends, major electronics companies in Japan, US and Korea have initiative to formulate international standards of FC for IT equipments in 2008 to make possible low cost production by unification of fuel compositions, safety standards etc. In the international standardization Toshiba Corp., Hitachi, Ltd., Sony Corp., NEC Corp., Korean Samsung Electronics, US MIT etc are participating. In addition to these telecommunication companies and fuel companies will participate. After these are formulated they are planning to register the formulated standards to IEC international standards, and it is fairly sure that they will become de fact standards in these business fields. Using these standards, Toshiba Corp. is going to start sales of FC for portable phones, music players etc in 2008. Hitachi, Ltd. and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. are going to install small FC in notebook type computers in 2010, and Samsung Electronics is also planning commercialization. Thus replacement of lithium ion batteries will proceed, though at present the batteries are predominant. These companies are trying development in their own ways, but the production cost at present is estimated by several tens times higher than that of the battery. By formulating the standards part of design can be made common, and promoting large-scale purchase of components they intends to reduce the development cost. [The Nihon Keizai Shimbun Sept. 29, 2007]

(2)Developments by Companies and Trends in Standardization
@At IT exhibition, "CEATEC JAPAN" held in Makuhari of Chiba prefecture, Toshiba Corp. displayed trial products of IT equipments like DMFC and portable phones as references. They are portable phones, their chargers, FC installed portable media players etc. and FC can be attached to all of them. They have longer duration than lithium ion batteries. It is said that the duration of portable phones becomes twice, and when methanol fuel is injected, one seg broadcast can be enjoyed continuously for 10 hours. Toshiba Corp. said "As a result of R&D for light and small FC, it reaches to a level of installation into equipments," and the company is examining to ship FC products in 2008 fiscal year in its earliest case.
@Standardization is going on in IEC, and Japanese companies like Toshiba Corp. are participating it, while commercialization in 2008 fiscal year at the earliest is being planned for instance in Toshiba Corp. Cartridges for refill can be produced at lower cost than disposable batteries, and load to environment is expected low. As to FC for portable phones Sony Corp. published already its related technology, and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. is manufacturing in trial notebook type computers with FC. However, Hitachi Ltd. pointed out "it is hard to evaluate market value." Though Hitachi Ltd. has developed DMFC and commercialization is feasible, it shows discretion, saying "People feel recharging is almost free when they insert the plug into socket." The company is wondering whether people recognize need for replacement.
@Safety is another task. In December of 2006 the aviation law was amended and at present it is allowed to carry FC into an aircraft. As to fuel for refill, view of Ministry of Land, Transport and Infrastructure is "Goods in accordance with the safety standards are allowed to carry in." It is necessary to fulfill exactly safety standards after establishment of the standards by IEC. [The Asahi Shimbun Oct. 4, 2007, The Sankei Shimbun, The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology) and The Fuji Sankei Business Eye Oct. 5, 2007]

13.Development of Portable FC
@Hitachi Ltd. has developed small portable FC. The FC Hitachi Ltd. has developed can supply 100 W electric power for 3 hours when 800 mL of methanol is supplied. The size is 24 cm deep, 43.5 cm wide and 20 cm high, and the weight is 10 kg. However, the company intends to reduce the weight by about 5 kg in the real use stage by making essential parts like separators thinner. Methanol is more inexpensive than gasoline, and CO2 formation is not so much. In comparison with an electric generator with a gasoline engine, FC is less noisy and superior in running cost. The price has not yet been determined. Since 2008 the company is going to begin trial operation for a part of customers, and then it would be commercialize according to the plan. Utilization in construction sites, out-door leisure like camping and remote area of bad electric situation is anticipated. [The Nihon Keizai Shimbun Sept. 26, 2007]

14.Observational and Metrological Systems related with FC and Hydrogen
@Toyo Corp. started sales of measuring systems for electrochemical reaction materials "Versa STAT3 series " manufactured by US Princeton Applied Research. It is used to measure components, the objectives being products by principle of FC, electroplating etc. The price is from 1.25 million yen. [The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (business and technology) Sept. 24, 2007]

------------ This edition is made up a of October 11, 2007. ---------------