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NuVant's Contract for Methanol-Based Fuel Cell Research Extended

February 8, 2007

The government's extension will fund continuing research and development and provide for workshops to introduce companies and individuals to fuel cell technology.


MERRILLVILLE, IN, & BOSTON /BUSINESS WIRE/ -- NuVant Systems Inc. officials announced that the company has been awarded an extension on a government research contract aimed at developing ways to extend the lifetime of portable-power fuel cells.

The Merrillville, IN-based technology company, which develops and licenses advanced fuel-cell components and component evaluation instrumentation, instituted its Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Lifetime Improvement Program in October of 2006 as part of a $1.74 million contract from the Department of Defense. The agency's amendment to the contract will fund NuVant Systems' continuing research and development of direct methanol fuel cells, which company founder Eugene Smotkin considers the leading candidates for portable-power fuel cells.

"For portable fuel cells, one of the advantages of liquid methanol fuel over compressed hydrogen fuel is that liquid methanol has a much higher energy density and is easier to handle," said Smotkin, PhD, who also serves as NuVant Systems' Science Advisory Board Chairman.

NuVant Systems also develops fully automated instrumentation for the high-throughput evaluation of fuel cell components. NuVant Systems is extending the field of use for the patented high-throughput array technology to batteries, sensors, and other types of electrochemical reactors.

"As part of this contract extension, we will hold workshops to introduce companies and individuals to fuel cell technology. These workshops will provide instant, hands-on expertise with regard to the fabrication and testing of fuel cell electrodes," Smotkin said.

In 2005, NuVant Systems became a charter member of the Purdue Technology Center of Northwest Indiana in Merrillville, IN, which is a business acceleration and incubation facility modeled after Purdue Research Park and owned/managed by Purdue Research Foundation. The center's Midwest location provides NuVant Systems with convenient access to the company's collaborative research activities in South Bend, IN.

About NuVant Systems
NuVant Systems Inc. develops and licenses advanced fuel-cell components and component evaluation instrumentation. The company licenses its technology to fuel-cell developers (including university researchers) and manufacturers, and performs contract research in the areas of catalyst discovery and fuel-cell system prototyping. NuVant Systems was founded in 1999 by Eugene Smotkin, PhD, who is a professor of chemistry at Northeastern University and a research professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University of Notre Dame. Smotkin holds seven issued patents (three additional patents pending) and has authored more than 50 peer-reviewed publications. The company operates from offices in both Merrillville, IN, and Boston, MA. For additional information, contact Linda Smotkin, NuVant Systems Inc., 857-233-2418, or Jeanine Phipps, Purdue Research Park, media relations, 765-494-0748 (office), 765-413-5579 (mobile), jeanine@purdue.edu.


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