New company seeks alternative power source for transportation

A new venture between two advanced mobile electrical technology companies is hoping to develop a new power alternative for the transportation industry.

eVia, a joint effort of Cleveland-based Stratum Technologies, and Swift Development of West Lafayette, IN, is developing a high energy density system consisting of a liquid direct proton fuel cell and a long-life, high-energy, polymer phosphate lithium ion battery.

This unique system, dubbed the Rusek Daroux System after its developers, utilizes advanced production-proven battery technologies and minimal noble metals. The system could be used to power APUs or other auxiliary devices, but it might eventually result in a new option for vehicle power, the company said.

According to the company, the fuel cell acts as a range extender for the battery, continually recharging it using common liquid fuel and oxidant-sodium borohydride and hydrogen peroxide. The advantages of this system include a liquid-liquid closed loop system; minimal use of noble metals; renewable or regenerative fuels; infrastructure already in place for easy refueling; and low operating temperatures and pressures.

The company said it has solved the problem of hydrogen peroxide decomposition with a cathode that can produce ions without generating oxygen. This enables the use of a liquid oxidant. The system also produces a clean generation with no combustion process. There is no use of compressed gases, it’s lightweight, includes fast kinetics, a rapid start-up and is scalable from small to large, which is why the company thinks there may be a future use to power trucks.

The system is being developed by Dr. Mark L. Daroux, president & CEO of Stratum Technologies. Daroux is an electrochemist who holds numerous patents on battery technologies. Dr. John and Mary Louis Rusek, founders of Swift Enterprises, have more than 30 years experience in the chemical, propulsion and aerospace industries. John Rusek studies hydrogen peroxide use in propulsion, power and fuel cell applications. Swift focuses on renewable energy solutions including a replacement fuel for general aviation.