AFC Energy was founded in 2006 to provide low-cost hydrogen alkaline fuel cells for industrial applications. Fuel cells have been used in the past to power a variety of technologies including submarines and spacecraft. By utilising modern manufacturing technologies, best practices and proprietary advances in waste management, AFC energy seeks to make fuel cells a viable method for powering more commonplace technologies such as clean energy and chemical production.
In 2007, AFC Energy signed a contract with the Indonesian government to become the excessive supplier/manufacturer of clean energy in the country. By 2009, AFC was one of the top-performing stocks on the AIM, and by 2010 the company had won a large fuel cell order from Centrica, one of the UK’s leading integrated energy providers. AFC has partnered with many different world-class companies including chemicals giant Akzo Nobel, industrial gas supplier Air Products and clean coal provider Linc Energy.
The company’s growth areas include supplementing and improving the efficiency of underground coal gasification (UCG), one of the most commonly used “clean coal” technologies. UCG utilises inefficient steam cycle technologies to produce energy directly from gasified coal. This produces waste hydrogen gas, which, when fed into AFC’s fuel cells, can offer free electricity.
AFC’s low-cost fuel cells are among the most efficient sources of power in the world, acquiring close to 70% electrical efficiency compared to around 33% efficiency for the standard internal combustion engine. They will save clean coal companies money and make them more effective at providing cheap, clean power.
Other target markets for AFC include any industrial supplier or provider with significant hydrogen gas waste by-products. If a company wastes hydrogen gas in significant quantities, AFC fuel cells can significantly improve production efficiency. By providing a method for saving money and producing cheap, clean energy, AFC is occupying a highly-sought niche for today’s eco-friendly, finance-tight business environment.