This Week's Herman Trend Alert

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  The Herman Trend Alert

January 10, 2007

Fuel Cell Technology Comes of Age

We have been all seen the popularity of hybrid cars. Now, we are seeing the use of fuel cell technology in stationary applications. Before now, the technology had been too expensive.

Fuel cells can generate electricity in remote areas or anywhere that an uninterrupted power supply is desired. Those locations include private homes, small office complexes, hospitals, manufacturing plants, platform refineries, and even large boats. AFC recently signed with a major international chlorine producer for which hydrogen is a natural byproduct of their process.

Used by themselves or in conjunction with other renewable energy sources like wind or solar, fuel cells optimize the efficiency of alternative systems or act as a time-shift device, affording the production of power any time of the day or night.

Unlike other technologies, including solid oxide, polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM), and direct methanol fuel cells, these more efficient new alkaline fuel cells from AFC Energy, use a unique, new printable membrane that is significantly less expensive than the nickel- meshed membranes of the competition. In addition, they feature new electrode materials, have a novel overall configuration, novel operating parameters, and features that make them easy to service.

These developments increase the system's efficiency, dramatically reduce the cost, and improve the reliability and functionality. The benefits of this new technology are remarkable. Besides operation with zero harmful emissions, the new fuel cells cost less and function at a lower temperature than the competition.

"It's all about the money," says Howard White, chairman of AFC Energy, launching Q1 2007 on the United Kingdom stock exchange. Unlike competitive products, these cells do not require platinum for their electrodes. Right now, the electrodes in most fuel cells cost a minimum of USD$1400 per kilowatt hour; AFC has brought the cost down to less than USD$100 and is working on getting it down to USD$20 per kilowatt hour. The best part for the planet is AFC's fuel cells require no fossil fuels to operate and are more environmentally friendly.

We expect fuel cell technology to increase in acceptance as this new, more efficient version of the technology is adopted.

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