Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Ethiopian-Caltech Fuel Cell Connection

Kudos are showing up from all over the world, particularly from the Ethiopian diaspora, due to an article appearing in Newsweek online and in print (page 82, 12/31 issue) about my second favorite Caltech professor (still first is my former advisor, math Prof. Gary Lorden still going strong and remaining as the technical consultant and chief advisor for CBS's 'Numb3rs') Sossina Haile.

Dr. Haile has remained a dedicated full-time professor while her former grad students are running with her innovative SAFC (solid acid fuel cell) technology with the solidly-funded SuperProtonics Corp. in Pasadena. She is a dogged and intense researcher who has risen from her refugee roots to the top of the FC research world. I've spent time with her husband (through an incredible coincidence), heard her boys, and been figuratively blown away by her technology with a one-on-one poster presentation she gave me in Palm Springs, and I can say the Newsweek article does not exaggerate a thing. Her FC technology is the only one with a working temperature between 200° C (PAFC) and Ceres' 500° cerium-based SOFC, and it could hit the thermal sweet spot for fuel cells. Business development VP Sami Mardini says SuperProtonics will be putting small stacks in the hands of integrators throughout 2008, looking for a 2009 - 2010 market introduction. This could be in line with the 'conventional' SOFC developers like CFCL, Acumentrics, Topsoe, and certainly Ceres who appear to be poised for commercialization, so Sossina's third child has a real chance to grow up strong and healthy like her human ones.

SuperProtonics board member, and former NJ senator, NY Knick, and top-fight presidential candidate Bill Bradley, has (of course) full confidence in the product and technology.


malcolmn said...

facinated to find your blog. I am a fuel cell believer and have been since meeting Jim Weiss at JPL in the late nineties. There is a fellow presenting at the tech awards from a fuel cell company AECD (Rolf Pasdorf) that is very useful for rural villages in Africa, He used Zinc to power the fuel cell. The company is based in South Africa

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