Energy Ventures Inc. forms R&D collaboration for fuel cell program

OTTAWA, Dec. 7, 2000 (CNW) à‚– Energy Ventures Inc. (“EVI”) (OTC Bulletin Board: EGYV) announced today that its three-year, Can $1.50 million project on “Improved Anodes for Direct Methanol Fuel Cells” with the National Research Council Canada (NRC) and the University of Guelph has been approved by NRC.

The technical program involves EVI, NRC’s Institute for Chemical Process and Environmental Technology (ICPET) and its Steacie Institute for Molecular Science (SIMS) (both located in Ottawa), and the University of Guelph (Guelph, Ontario).

EVI will contribute $120 thousand in cash and $204 thousand in staff and equipment contributions over the three years. The project will be ready to begin when a collaborative agreement among the parties has been finalized and executed.

The objective of the program is to maximize the utilization of noble metal catalyst and further improve the performance of EVI’s Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC). The National Research Council Fuel Cell Program will contribute $285 thousand in cash to ICPET and SIMS in support of the collaboration.

Those institutes as well as the University of Guelph will additionally provide in-kind support through the provision of scientific staff and equipment. The Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) recently approved a complementary strategic grant project at the University of Guelph, sponsored by EVI. That project is aimed at the “Development of a CO tolerant anode catalyst.”

These programs, in combination with other longer-term research and development programs supported by EVI, complement the company’s fuel cell product development program and offer the potential for product improvements. EVI is developing its DMFC for several markets. Its early products are aimed at portable, motive and stationary power applications in the range of 150W to 2.5kW.

EVI anticipates that its DMFC will gain early market acceptance as a result of the use of methanol that both simplifies on-board system requirements and utilizes the existing fuel distribution infrastructure, but there can be no assurances regarding the success of the program to approve the efficacy of the DMFC or that the DMFC will achieve the market acceptance hoped for by the company.

Wayne Hartford, President of EVI stated, “We are very pleased to have had our project approved by the NRC’s Fuel Cell Program. And, we are equally pleased to be working with the strong technical teams at the University of Guelph and the National Research Council.”

EVI is a sponsor of a NSERC strategic grant project at McMaster University (Hamilton, Ontario) on the “Development of a ceramic membrane for solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs).” SOFCs are a developing fuel cell technology with applications in stationary power markets. This project provides EVI the opportunity to build intellectual assets in another fuel cell technology.

These projects reflect EVI’s philosophy to support the national fuel cell infrastructure that is developing in universities and government research organizations across Canada. These projects also emphasize EVI’s role as a technology developer and integrator in the portable power technology market.

Energy Ventures Inc. is a portable power technology developer and integrator with activities in direct methanol fuel cell and rechargeable battery technology. It is engaged in the development of technology products that management anticipates will produce reliable and economical power and reduce pollution. For further information please visit EVI’s web site at https://energyvi.com/.

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