BURNABY, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - March 18, 2014) - Mantra Energy Alternatives Ltd., a subsidiary of Mantra Venture Group Ltd. (OTCQB:MVTG), has begun development on a prototype fuel cell for transportation applications. A version of Mantra's "Mixed-Reactant Fuel Cell" will be designed specifically for integration into vehicles of various types, with the objective of demonstrating a working prototype later this year.
According to Mantra's engineers, the advantage of the MRFC is the fact that it eliminates one of the most costly and failure-prone components of a conventional fuel cell, which is the membrane. The mixing of fuel and oxidant also allows for simplifications in reactant delivery and reactor manifolding, reducing the space required for the system. The MRFC was developed at the University of British Columbia for six years with very promising results, but has not yet been integrated into transportation applications.
"We are excited to show off the technology in a practical application," says Mantra CEO Larry Kristof. "We will start with a small unit, but from there we expect scale-up to be fast."
As part of this project Mantra has begun collaborating with the laboratory of Professor Elod Gyenge at UBC. The considerable expertise and resources of Professor Gyenge and his team will be applied to the investigation of various fuels for use in the MRFC, including formates, formic acid, and hydrazine.
Says Professor Gyenge, "I am very pleased to work with Mantra Energy and their team on further developing the commercial potential of the mixed-reactant fuel cell technology. The Swiss-roll MRFC design, which we have worked on in our lab at the University of British Columbia for a number of years, addressed two major issues that have hampered the commercial success of conventional low-temperature PEM fuel cells fed with liquid fuels. First, the Swiss-roll MRFC eliminates the need for expensive and failure-prone membranes (e.g. Nafion), and second our research paved the way for the implementation of non-platinum selective catalysts without compromising the cell performance, as we successfully demonstrated in the case of the borohydride-oxygen fuel cell. I believe focusing now on the electrochemical systems of interest to Mantra has significant breakthrough potential for the advancement of hydrazine, formate, and other types of direct fuel cells in either acidic or alkaline electrolytes."
Mantra also announced that it will be exhibiting at GLOBE 2014, Vancouver's world-renowned clean technology conference, from March 26 to 28. Focused on the nexus of business and sustainability for the past 24 years, GLOBE is an ideal venue for the company's technologies. Mantra will be part of the PowerHaus Pavilion, and will be advertised in the pavilion's Power Pitches each day of the conference by Patrick Dodd, VP of Corporate Development.
"We are pleased to be exhibiting at GLOBE, and we encourage any and all to come by to discuss the company and its technologies, and see our demonstration unit in action," says Mr. Dodd.
In a conventional fuel cell, the fuel and oxidant flow in separate streams, separated by an ion-conducting membrane that divides the cell into discreet anode and cathode chambers. The single-cells are stacked electrically in series using bipolar flow-field plates that provide most of the stack weight and volume.
By contrast, in a mixed-reactant fuel cell, or "MRFC", a mixture of fuel and oxidant flows through the cell as a single stream. The mixed-feed concept allows for a variety of conventional and unconventional cell stack designs including the Mantra's patented Swiss-roll MRFC design. Simplification of MRFC systems is possible because they can operate without the gastight structures within the stack that are required for sealing, manifolding, and separating reactant delivery in conventional fuel cells. As a result, MRFCs can provide significantly less expensive fuel cell systems with high volumetric power density.
ERC, or the "Electro-Reduction of Carbon Dioxide", is a form of "carbon capture and utilization" that converts the pollutant carbon dioxide into useful, valuable products including formic acid and formate salts. By utilizing clean electricity, the process offers the potential for an industrial plant to reduce emissions while generating a salable product and a profit.
About Mantra Venture Group
Mantra Venture Group is a public company quoted on the OTC QB under the symbol MVTG.
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Forward-looking statements: Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters discussed in this press release are forward-looking statements. Actual results may differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements and are subject to risks and uncertainties. See Mantra Venture Group's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which identify specific factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements.