Oorja Fuel Cells Licenses Two Patents from Los Alamos National Laboratory for Improving Efficiency and Cost-Cutting

Oorja Fuel Cells and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) today announced a licensing agreement allowing Oorja Fuel Cells to deploy two key energy technologies developed by Los Alamos through programs with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). The technologies, available through LANL’s Express Licensing Program, are aimed at improving power density and reducing the cost of direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) based power systems.

Fremont, CA, May 03, 2014 --(PR.com)-- Shoibal Banerjee, Ph.D., Vice-President of Technology and Innovation at Oorja Fuel Cells, said the move is part of the company’s 18-month plan to reduce costs in a range of 40 to 50 percent, which will enable DMFC technology to penetrate wider market spaces, including the automotive market, beyond the traditional multibillion-dollar diesel-generator market for applications such as powering telecom towers and rural electrification.

Banerjee added that the innovative stack design and cathode catalyst technology developed at LANL and licensed by Oorja have the potential to overcome key stack-performance limitations and significantly reduce precious-metal content, both of which are critical for broader market penetration of DMFC technology.

“Our express licensing program is a powerful new tool to speed the transition of inventions into products,” said Duncan McBranch, Los Alamos’s Chief Technology Officer. “We have a strong portfolio of fuel cell patents, thanks to sustained R&D investments from the DOE Fuel Cell Technologies Office in EERE. These technologies enabled the commercial introduction of fuel cell vehicles starting this year. We are also seeing a second wave of fuel cell innovation driven by this commercial success, and Oorja is a great example of how a company can build value using technologies available at the national labs."

The Department of Energy Fuel Cell Technologies Office built the foundational science and technology of polymer-electrolyte-membrane fuel cells, powered by fuels such as hydrogen and methanol. Furthermore, other federal sponsors such as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) have funded additional DMFC-development efforts for applications such as soldier power, which was funded through the Palm Power Program.

Los Alamos has been a leader in fuel cell technology development for nearly 40 years, and has worked collaboratively with industry to improve the performance and reliability through new materials, chemistry and engineering. The direct-methanol fuel cell is an example of a spinoff from a core program focus on transportation, with a growing market for mobile power solutions that are difficult to meet using current battery technologies.

About Oorja Fuel Cells

Oorja Fuel Cells (www.oorjafuelcells.com) is a global energy company that is working to enable the methanol economy. Oorja designs, develops and commercializes Direct Methanol Fuel Cells (DMFCs) ranging in power from 0.5 to 100 kilowatts that have a wide range of applications across several industries such as: telecommunications, vehicles and transportation, distributed energy, and micro grid. The company was founded in 2004 in Silicon Valley and is funded by leading Global Investors. Oorja Fuel Cells is working with market leaders around the world such as Toyota Tsusho, Baldor and US Foods to name a few.

About Los Alamos National Laboratory (www.lanl.gov)

Los Alamos National Laboratory, a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security, is operated by Los Alamos National Security, LLC, a team composed of Bechtel National, the University of California, The Babcock & Wilcox Company and URS for the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.

Los Alamos enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health and global security concerns.
Oorja Fuel Cells
Daniela Jaramillo