20 September 2007 22:44 [Source: ICIS news]
The department said it wants to “permit certain fuel cell cartridges and fuel cell systems designed for portable electronic devices to be transported by passengers and crew in carry-on baggage on board passenger-carrying aircraft”.
The rule change “would cover fuel cells containing certain hazardous materials, flammable liquids, including methanol, formic acid, certain borohydride materials or butane” that meet performance and consumer use standards.
Greg Dolan, vice president for communications and policy at the Methanol Institute, said the department’s action “removes a significant barrier to commercialisation of micro fuel cells”.
“Having the ability to take fuel-cell powered personal electronic devices on board commercial aircraft and change micro methanol cartridges in flight is a key prerequisite for market introduction of these devices,” Dolan said.
The International Civil Aviation Organization last year adopted provisions for transporting and using fuel cell systems powered by methanol in passenger compartments.
Several countries, including
Market introduction of such methanol-powered electronic devices is expected in
Dolan said some estimates say widespread use of methanol-powered personal electronic devices could generate additional demand for as much as 200m gal/year of methanol, which would add only a slim 1.5% to total current global methanol consumption of some 13bn gal/year.
However, Dolan said, widespread consumer use of methanol-powered fuel cell devices would build public acceptance for methanol as a preferred fuel for automobile fuel cell technology that is expected in the next decade.
Use of methanol as an automotive fuel cell energy source would create major additional consumption and demand.
The Transportation Department’s proposed rule is subject to public comment for 60 days. Final approval is likely early in the new year.
For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.
Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.
|ICIS news FREE TRIAL|
|Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index|
Asian Chemical Connections