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Alfa Laval and Advent exploring methanol-powered fuel cells for the marine sector

| By Mary Bailey

Advent Technologies Holdings, Inc. will collaborate with Alfa Laval AB (Lund, Sweden) on a project to explore applications of Advent’s methanol-powered high-temperature proton exchange membrane (HT-PEM) fuel cells in the marine industry.

Funded by the Danish Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Program (EUDP), the project is a joint effort between Advent, Alfa Laval and a group of Danish shipowners. The project will focus on testing Advent’s methanol-powered HT-PEM fuel cells as a source of marine auxiliary power. During the course of the project, the fuel cell system will undergo a risk assessment by a leading international classification society. Alfa Laval previously announced its participation in a joint project focused on the advancement of solid-oxide fuel cells for marine decarbonization.

At the same time, the project aims to integrate the next generation of Advent’s fuel cells. These fuel cells will be based on Advent’s next-generation membrane electrode assembly, which is currently being developed within the framework of L’Innovator, the Company’s joint development program with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Aiming to meet the ever-growing power requirements of the maritime industry, Advent’s next-generation fuel cells are expected to demonstrate a significant increase in lifetime, efficiency, and electrical output.

Advent’s technology enables its fuel cells to operate at high temperatures of between 160°C and 220°C and serve as a reliable source of on-demand power across various applications and industries, including shipping, power generation and heavy-duty mobility. The Company’s HT-PEM technology can utilize low-cost and abundant hydrogen-carrier fuels, like methanol, e-methanol and biomethanol. Methanol in particular has attracted substantial interest as a future fuel for the marine industry, and Advent’s HT-PEM fuel cells operate perfectly on methanol, using an integrated reformer.  Advent previously announced a partnership with BASF New Business GmbH to scale up manufacturing of advanced fuel-cell components.

Dr. Vasilis Gregoriou, Advent Technologies’ Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented: “The Advent team is dedicated to accelerating the decarbonization of the shipping industry. Our Serene fuel cells run on methanol – a clean alternative to fossil fuels – which is safer to handle than hydrogen gas and can be easily deployed on-site. Over the past months, we have received significant interest from the marine industry for our methanol-powered fuel cells. This gives us optimism about the future and our contribution to the industry’s goal of net zero by 2050. We look forward to the successful completion of this highly innovative EUDP-funded project and further progressing our collaboration with Alfa Laval.”

Jeroen van Riel, Alfa Laval’s Business Development Manager for Marine Energy Solutions, stated: “We are excited to see the result of this promising collaboration with Advent, an experienced partner with innovative fuel cell products deployed in the field today. We are convinced that HT-PEM technology has great maritime potential and look forward to further exploring Advent’s differentiated technology as the marine industry moves towards decarbonization.”

Morten Hougaard Sørensen, Advent Technologies’ Senior Vice President added: “We would like to thank Alfa Laval for their commitment to partnering with our extensive expertise and proprietary technology to drive a maritime fuel cell solution. The Advent team envisions methanol, biomethanol, and e-methanol as the fuels of the future in shipping. We are delighted that Alfa Laval endorses this view. We hope this project is the dawn of a long and productive collaboration that will enable a faster transition to a clean energy shipping sector.”