<!-- --><style type="text/css">@import url(https://www.blogger.com/static/v1/v-css/navbar/3334278262-classic.css); div.b-mobile {display:none;} </style> </head><body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d11139315\x26blogName\x3dNanoNovus\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dBLUE\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://nanonovusblog.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://nanonovusblog.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d-6835450727142964005', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Fuel Cell Technology: Connecting the "Nano" Dots

My favorite nanotechnology resource is the website Nanotechnology Now. On a daily—-sometimes an hourly basis--its editor, Rocky Rawstern, gleans from the Internet an ever growing list of articles and press releases dealing with emerging field of nanotechnology. The articles often stand on their own merit but on some days the “connection” between various developments lingers just below the surface. Yesterday was just such a day.

First, there was an interesting article in Small Times (another excellent news sources on nanotechnology) by David Forman talking about Plug Power’s work to develop a fuel cell home energy station. The gist of the article was that the technology is real and potentially disruptive (the station could not only produce hydrogen for a fuel cell car, it could also allow the user to generate some of his or her own electricity), but this development is a long way off.

While I appreciate the effort not to “hype” fuel cell technology, I often think that many professionals in the field fail to appreciate how fast things are moving in their own backyard. To wit, I offer a press release coming out of Brookhaven National Laboratory. The release reports that researchers are honing in on creating the conditions for the “optimal operation” of new catalysts for generating hydrogen. Essentially this means that in the near future fuel cells will be able to operate at even higher levels of efficiency.

The third item was a short article talking about Accelrys (NASDAQ: ACCL) (Full disclosure: I own Accelrys stock) adding five new members to its Nanotechnology Consortium. The addition of these specific individuals may—or may not—be important. What is important is that Accelrys is committed to accelerating the development of new software tools that will enable the design of new nanomaterials and nanoparticles.

This brings me back to the fuel cell technology. I am confident Accelrys (as well as other companies) will speed up the commercial development of not only new nanocatalysts but also new nanomaterials which will allow for the safer and more effective storage of hydrogen.

These two developments, in turn, takes me back to Plug Power’s experimental home energy stations which, I would argue, will be here sooner than later because of these new advances.

And, if this is the case, the implications are significant. Not only should investors look at stocks like Plug Power and Accelrys in a new light, they should also revisit their assumptions about the long-term value of automobile and energy stocks because fuel cell technology has the potential to “disrupt” those industries.