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INI Power Gets Funding, Demos Fuel Cell

The methanol-based technology is aimed at consumer and military portable power applications.
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Startup INI Power Systems Inc. said that it has demonstrated the viability of its fuel cell technology and received the remaining funds raised from Series A investors.

INI (Cary, N.C.) claims its so-called Direct Methanol Laminar Flow Fuel Cell (LFFC) technology exceeds the performance requirements under commercially-viable operating conditions. The technology is aimed for consumer and military portable power applications.

Its technology is said to overcome the technical performance issues that have delayed the commercialization of conventional direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) in the power range of 10-to-250 Watts.

“The LFFC overcomes these obstacles by taking advantage of the laminar flow properties of liquids within microfluidic channels,” according to the company.

“This simply means two or more discrete fluids can flow together in physical contact, with little to no intermixing, while maintaining ionic conductivity. Accordingly, the LFFC does not require a conventional membrane electrode assembly, thus simplifying manufacture and reducing cost,” the company said. “The system is air-breathing, incorporating an ambient gas stream and gas diffusion electrode for internal gas exchange. This design provides an overall dynamic system that is much like living organisms, that utilize flowing liquids and air to create a 'fuel cell-like mobile power source' adaptable to a wide range of environmental conditions.”

INI received a Phase I grant in 2003 that was followed by a Phase II grant from the Army Research Office in 2004. In 2004, the company announced a $3 million Series A round of financing from MHI Energy Partners LLC. On Wednesday (Nov.3), INI said it has received the remaining funding from the round.

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