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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 November 2006, 10:44 GMT
Fuel cells test centre revealed
Toshiba fuel cell (AP)
Fuel cells can be as small as a mobile phone
A new centre to test environmentally friendly fuel cells is about to open in the Tees Valley.

The Fuel Cell Application Facility at Wilton, near Redcar, will test new types of fuel cells, widely accepted as a potential source of clean energy.

The cells convert chemicals stored in fuels, such as hydrogen and methanol, into electrical energy.

It is hoped the centre may contribute to the development of a hydrogen-powered vehicle.

The centre will provide a test bed for companies operating in the north-east of England to develop fuel cells systems for commercial applications.

Technical skills

Centre director Dr Graham Hillier said: "The UK needs to develop highly efficient low carbon transport and energy systems if it is to secure energy for the future in a way that helps slow global warming.

"Our long-term aim is to see much of the industry established here in the North East.

"We have all the technical skills and the commercial opportunities to make that a reality. This development centre helps move us towards that vision."

As the cost of production falls and efficiency increases, fuel cells are expected to find many more applications.

Globally, companies such as BP, BOC, Rolls Royce, and Honda are all active in fuel cell research.


SEE ALSO
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Nokia halts mobile fuel cell plan
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12 Aug 04 |  Science/Nature
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