DOE “Hydrogen Technologies Permitting Workshop"

Sponsored By: DOE Hydrogen, Fuel Cell and Infrastructure Technologies Program - Safety Codes and Standards Subprogram

October 15, 2007
San Antonio, TX - Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Room 006 A/B


Bring Together Project Developers, Managers, Technical Personnel, and Other Stakeholders to:


  1. Understand what permitting officials expect from us
  2. Share permitting experiences
  3. Discuss lessons learned
  4. Discuss the critical issues
  5. Identify what is needed to facilitate efficient, timely permitting of projects
  6. Build on the Federal effort to work with permitting officials to aid permitting of hydrogen refueling stations to include other hydrogen and fuel cell technologies and applications

Download the Entire Agenda (83Kb PDF)

1 pmWelcome & Overview – Karen Hall, NHA

1:15 pm

Results of 2 workshops on permitting of hydrogen fuelling stations – Jim Ohi, NREL
Bio (7Kb PDF)
Presentation (1,811Kb PDF)

1:45 pmQ&A

2 pm

Fuel Cell Permitting Case Studies – Panel led by Tony Androsky, USFCC

  • Kelvin Hecht, Retired UTC, Consultant, USTAG Chair of IEC TC105
    Bio (37Kb PDF)
    Presentation (268Kb PDF)

  • Tony Leo, Fuel Cell Energy
    Bio (118Kb PDF)
    Presentation (8,297Kb PDF)

  • Bill Shank, IdaTech
    Bio (38Kb PDF)
    Presentation (10,970Kb PDF)

2:50 pmQ&A

3:05 pmBreak

3:25 pm

Hydrogen Technologies Case Studies – Panel led by Karen Hall, NHA

4:15 pmQ&A

4:30 pmTools to Aid Permitting – Karen Hall, NHA
Bio (56Kb PDF)
Presentation (1,584Kb PDF)

4:50 pmQ&A and Short Course Conclusion

About this Site
The National Hydrogen Association is pleased to announce an expansion of the Hydrogen Safety Report to include information Fuel Cell Safety, Codes and Standards.

In addition, this new site will support the activities of the National Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Codes & Standards Coordinating Committee, an entity consisting of a large number of organizations involved in the development of codes and standards for hydrogen energy systems and fuel cells.

This material is based upon work supported by the Department of Energy under Award Number DE-FC36-07GO17004 to Regulatory Logic LLC.

This report was prepared as an account of work sponsored by an agency of the United States Government. Neither the United States Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, nor Regulatory Logic LLC makes any warranty express or implied, or assumes an legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government or any agency thereof. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government or any agency thereof, or of Regulatory Logic LLC.

Save the Date: Hydrogen Codes and Standards Conference
Ryan Smith, NextEnergy

The annual Hydrogen Codes and Standards conference at NextEnergy in Detroit is coming up soon! 

The main event will begin at 8:00 AM on Wednesday, November 28th, 2007. This event will feature professional panels from the hydrogen permitting sector, as well as keynote speakers from the U.S. Department of Energy. 

Also, key hydrogen authorities having jurisdiction will present results from the hydrogen permitting workshop, which will be conducted on November 27th at NextEnergy. 

Proposed Agenda (37Kb PDF)

As the proceedings become finalized, you will be sent an official invite with event and hotel specifics. Please save the date!

Pioneering Experiences in Permitting and Safety of Integrated Hydrogen Systems
Susan Schoenung, Longitude 122 West, Inc., plus Co-Authors

This work was presented at the 2007 NHA conference, and is presented here in summary form. Under the auspices of the International Energy Agency’s Hydrogen Implementing Agreement, a working group has been evaluating and comparing experiences with integrated hydrogen demonstration systems, including a comparison of permitting requirements and safety designs. The group, called Annex 18 Evaluation of Integrated Systems, has considered recently developed projects for both vehicle refueling stations and also renewables-based fuel cell power systems with hydrogen as an energy storage medium. Specific projects include hydrogen vehicle fueling stations in Malmö, Sweden, Reykjavik, Iceland, and Vancouver, Canada. Also included are renewables-powered domestic residences in England and Italy, and a building load-leveling system in Japan. Other systems include a combined power and fueling station in Las Vegas, US, a series of French residential fuel cells and a fuel cell powered factory vehicle. In general the experience has been that there are few formal standards or approaches for permitting and safety, so that at each facility developers worked with local fire officials and referred to other standards, such as those for natural gas. In several cases, safety has been provided by building special facilities or separate spaces for the different subsystems. 

Annex 18 has been underway since the beginning of 2004, and is scheduled to operate through 2009. The overall objective of Annex 18 is to provide information on progress in the hydrogen economy. Other objectives are to assess integrated hydrogen demonstration projects in member countries and to provide lessons learned and design guidelines. Integrated hydrogen systems, by definition, include a minimum of two hydrogen components. Most of the systems evaluated in Annex 18 consist of a source of hydrogen (generated by electrolysis or reforming), hydrogen storage, and an end use system (either stationary fuel cell or vehicle power plant). In Annex 18 there are currently fifteen member countries and three subtasks:

  • Subtask A: Information Base Development
  • Subtask B: Demonstration Project Evaluation
  • Subtask C: Synthesis and Lessons Learned

While the Annex 18 experts have evaluated many aspects of system performance, one area of focus has been permitting and safety experiences and public acceptance. In general the experiences have been positive, with high visibility and good public acceptance.

Integrated Hydrogen Demonstration Systems
During Phase 1 of Annex 18, nine systems were evaluated in some detail. These cover the spectrum of system types, including vehicles, refueling stations, grid-connected systems, and stand-alone renewable-powered systems. Fuel cell uses include buses, cars, telecom power, building heat and power and grid power. The systems are described briefly in Table 1.

Table 1: Integrated Hydrogen Systems evaluated by IEA HIA Annex 18


ECTOS buses / IcelandGeothermal electrolysis(3) Citaro fuel cell buses with Ballard fuel cells

Pacific Spirit Station / CanadaIndustrial waste(5) Ford Focus fuel cell vehicles

FIRST telecom power / SpainPV electrolysis400 W Remote telecom power

Energy station / Las VegasSteam reformer50 kW Plug Power stationary fuel cell / grid

Takasago integrated system / JapanRenewable to grid / MH storage5 kW regenerative / building load-leveling

Hydrogen and Renewables Integration (HARI) project / UKPV/wind/hydro electrolysis2 kW residential heat and power; 5 kW power

Italian hydrogen housePV electrolysis5 kW PEM estate power

EPACOP / FranceNatural gas reforming(5) 4 kW residential for heat and power

H2 Truck / DenmarkRefillable canister1.2 kW fuel cell powered factory loading truck

Permitting and Safety Experiences
For the hydrogen systems analyzed to date in Annex 18, various characteristics have been evaluated, including permitting and safety requirements and approaches. In Reykjavik, project leaders relied on other’s experiences for developing safety standards. Although there were no regulations, a crash-proof wall was built around the station, as it is on a busy street. This added cost to the system. In Reykjavik, the alkaline electrolyzer is installed in a separate area covered by HAZMAT procedures. The fuel cell buses undergo maintenance in a special warehouse near the station. Although there have been no hydrogen-related incidents with the buses, a coolant leak and subsequent reaction led the developers to work with local emergency officials (fire and police) on formal responses. 

In Vancouver, the Pacific Spirit Station is located on a federal site. Permitting was from the BC Safety Authority. In Victoria, the new station is located at a public transit facility. Permitting was also from BC Safety Authority, the Municipality and local fire department; the latter requires an emergency response plan. At Powertech, the hydrogen components are located on private property - an industrial site. HAZOPS and FMEA processes are applied. Although it was not in place for the design of these stations, the Canadian Hydrogen Installation Code has now been adopted for future stations on the Canadian Hydrogen Highway.

At Las Vegas, project designers relied on existing codes. The system uses ASME code compliant steel (not composite) hydrogen storage vessels. NFPA 50A was used to determine set-back distances for hydrogen storage. The hydrogen dispenser nozzle is compliant with SAE J2600. Distinctly different geometries for the hydrogen and blended-fuel dispenser nozzles were used so that they cannot be mistaken for one another. Other safety features include: automatic pressure-loss checks prior to and during a fueling operation, concrete platforms in the fueling areas to promote grounding, third-party-certified electrical enclosures, and all systems subjected to detailed HAZOP review. 

In Japan, “there is no special regulation only for hydrogen systems.”The integrated hydrogen system is located in a company laboratory. Industrial Safety and Health Law for ventilation and the Hydrogen Gas Guidebook apply. In addition to standard industrial regulations, high-pressure codes would also be followed. 

This HARI project in the UK is built on a private farm with the objective of eventually disconnecting from the local grid. As a private, domestic location, there are no official regulations. “We had to devise our own.” A Health and Safety Executive overview operation and HAZOP procedures are in place. The fire brigade was consulted as hydrogen components were installed. The hydrogen building is divided into hazardous and safe zones. The hazardous zone has three rooms: one containing the electrolyzer, one the fuel cells and the other the compressor. A passive ventilation mechanism results from the building’s layout. 

At the “ecological” house in Brunate, Italy, project designers had to negotiate extensively with the local fire brigade. At Due to lack of Italian regulations for hydrogen systems, the local fire marshall (Fire Brigade of the Province of COMO) constrained the mass of hydrogen that could be stored on site and the location of subsystems. Ultimately, the amount of hydrogen stored at the site will be less than desired. The Fire Brigade also requested that a special building be built to house the stored hydrogen.

The EPACOp project in France called for the installation of commercial fuel cell systems in five locations around the country. The system design was based on European Conformity Standards for numerous related systems, although there was no precise guidance for such installations. “In the absence of official regulations dealing especially with fuel cell technology, EC directives were used.”

In Denmark, the H2 Truck is a commercially available product. It is CE certified. The developers have stated, however: “Standardization is a subject that needs immediate attention, since this already puts restraints on products coming to the market.”

The experiences gathered from Annex 18, Phase 1 project evaluations are summarized in Table 2. Various permitting experiences and codes or standards applied to hydrogen demonstration projects have been described in this paper. Currently, Annex 18 is synthesizing key lessons learned from these experiences. A standardized approach is recommended for future projects. The recent formation of the international activities such as HYPER (Hydrogen PERmitting), for example, should accelerate the move toward consistent permitting processes.

Table 2: Summary of Permitting and Safety Experiences for IEA-HIA Annex 18 Projects (52Kb PDF)


M. Chiesa - Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Brescia, Italy

R. Gammon - Bryte Energy Ltd., Leichestershire, UK

H. Ito - Advanced Industrial Science and Technology Institute of Japan, Tsukba, Japan

M. Maack - Icelandic New Energy, Reykjavik, Iceland

S. Miles - Natural Resources Canada, Vancouver, BC, Canada

B. Ridell - Grontmij AB, Malmö, Sweden

DOE Publishes Progress Report on Fuel Cell Learning Demonstration

DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) published an Interim Progress Report (682Kb PDF) summarizing results from the first two years of the Controlled Hydrogen Fleet and Infrastructure Demonstration and Validation Project. The project is designed to monitor fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen fueling infrastructure performance in demonstration fleets throughout the U.S. The 5-year project will assess technology readiness and provide data on the status of hydrogen research and development. The industry teams consist of automotive and energy company pairs, including Chevron/Hyundai-Kia, DaimlerChrysler/BP, Ford/BP, and GM/Shell.

The report includes 30 composite data products that show the project's technical results without identifying individual companies. It includes information on fuel cell efficiency, projected fuel cell durability, fuel economy, driving range, and refueling rates. Results to date indicate that the fuel cell vehicles are performing at levels close to DOE baseline targets. NREL will evaluate overall industry and vehicle progress when 2nd generation fuel cell systems are introduced in 2007 and 2008.

Fuel Cell System Efficiency
Vehicle chassis dynamometer tests confirm that hydrogen fuel cell systems for vehicles can achieve very high conversion efficiency. The system efficiencies at ¼ power ranged from 52.5% to 58.1% from the four teams, very close to DOE's long-term target of 60%.

Projected Fuel Cell Durability
Fuel cell stacks will need to last approximately 5,000 hours to enter the market for light-duty vehicles. For this demonstration project, DOE established targets of 1,000 hours in 2006 and 2,000 hours in 2009. The ultimate goal is to develop fuel cell stacks that last at least 5,000 hours. Vehicles in the project have not yet achieved 1,000 hours of operation, so NREL made projections based on the slope of the voltage degradation. The projections suggest that the time to 10% fuel cell stack voltage degradation averaged over 700 hours. One team achieve a time to 10% degradation that was over 1,250 hours, which exceeds the 1,000 hour DOE target. The 2nd generation stacks introduced beginning in late 2007 will be compared to the 2,000 hour target for 2009. Other tests within the DOE hydrogen program have validated 5,000 hour life in the laboratory. This suggests that more durable materials are still making their way from the laboratories to the demonstration projects.

Vehicle Fuel Economy
NREL measured vehicle fuel economy from city and highway drive-cycle tests on a chassis dynamometer. These raw test results were then adjusted according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) methods to create the "window-sticker" fuel economy like what consumers see when they purchase conventional vehicles. This resulted in an adjusted fuel-economy range of 42 to 56.5 miles/kg hydrogen for the four teams.


High Fuel Conversion Efficiency in Fuel Cell Vehicles
Translates into High Fuel Economy

Vehicle Driving Range
NREL calculated vehicle driving range using the fuel economy results multiplied by the usable hydrogen stored onboard each vehicle. Using the EPA-adjusted fuel economy resulted in a range of 100 to 190 miles from the four teams. The 2nd generation vehicles will strive to increase the range to 250 miles--the 2009 DOE target. 

Refueling Rates
Consumers will require hydrogen vehicle refueling that is as similar as possible to conventional vehicle refueling. NREL analyzed over 3,700 refueling events, and quantified the amount, time, and rate. Refueling took an average of 4.19 minutes with 78% of the refueling events taking less than 5 minutes. The average amount per fill was 2.15 kg, reflecting both the limited storage capacity of these vehicles (~4 kg max) and nervousness about letting the fuel gauge get close to empty. DOE's target refueling rate is 1 kg/minute, and these Learning Demonstration results indicate an average of 0.71 kg/min and a median of 0.75 kg/min. Twenty percent of the refueling events exceeded 1 kg/minute. From the results NREL concluded that hydrogen refueling times and rates close to being acceptable. The challenge, however, is to put enough high-pressure hydrogen onboard the vehicle to provide adequate range. Researchers are also looking for advanced hydrogen storage materials that can replace the need for high-pressure tanks.

For the original Press Release please visit:

WI 20012: Gaseous Hydrogen Fuelling Stations
Karen Hall, National Hydrogen Association

ISO/TC 197 Draft Technical Specification (DTS) 20012, Gaseous hydrogen-Fuelling stations is available for comments and a vote. Approval by two-thirds of the P-member countries voting is needed to publish the Technical Specification.

The NHA has a vote on the US Technical Advisory Group (TAG); therefore, staff is soliciting comments from members. If you interested in commenting please respond to David Mann ( for the draft document. Please note it can be provided only to NHA members for the purpose of reviewing the draft for the NHA vote and comment through the US TAG. Other interested parties will need to contact their national TAG for an opportunity to input.

There are a few things to note about this draft international document. Firstly, it is a Draft Technical Specification. A Technical Specification (TS) is an intermediate deliverable that provides an option when the subject in question is still under development and technical issues can not be resolved within the appropriate time limits. A TS is considered a “prospective standard for provisional application” because there is an “urgent need for guidance on how standards in this field should be used to meet an identified need” (source: ISO Directives).

In 2003 when this item was raised in ISO TC 197 as a New Work Item Proposal to develop an International Standard, the US voted against starting work at the time, because much of what is necessary to complete an International Standard on hydrogen refuelling stations was not yet known. This was the primary reason that a similar work item in ISO TC 197 had been discontinued previously.

WG11 ran into challenges and determined that it would be more appropriate to prepare a Technical Specification. There was much discussion in 2005 and 2006 about the need for data to complete the task. In particular, there were serious open questions regarding setback distances. There were also questions about whether to make the document applicable to retrofitted stations or only new stations. The Work Group had a difficult challenge to gather needed data and build consensus on open issues. Due to these challenges, work was extended on the TS, and it is now available for comment and vote. If 2/3 of the P-member countries vote in favour of the DTS, it will be published as a TS, with the aim of further developing the item to an International Standard.

The document clearly is not ready to be an International Standard. The question now is whether we feel it is ready to be published as a TS, as it stands. There are a number of technical issues remaining. Some US experts have raised concerns about a few of these issues as follows:

  • The resistivity of the surface of the fuelling station pad to earth ground is addressed in the US model codes, where the European Standard EN 1081: 1998 Determination of Electrical Resistance – Resilient Floor Coverings is cited. ISO 20012 doesn’t specify the resistance between the surface of the fuelling pad and earth ground resistance. There is concern that this is a significant oversight and that it should be specified at 1MOhm for global consistency in the grounding of the fuelling station pad. This is can be achieved if concrete is used as the fuelling pad.

  • A Pressure Ramp rate "Fuelling Corridor" needs to be specified as the fuelling protocol to ensure that vehicles will be fuelled in a safe and consistent manner. There is a testing program sponsored by 6 major vehicle manufacturers and energy companies that is underway to establish the fuelling protocol robustly. It will finish by December of this year. The DTS should be revised in early 2008 to include the protocol so that vehicles could use fuelling stations safely on a global basis. This would allow harmonization with SAE TIR J2601.

  • The present text implies that the fire and explosion risk prevention must take into account ANY and ALL malfunctions and misuses. Common practice is to exclude “catastrophic failures”.

  • There is a requirement to periodically inspect, leak check, and replace of hoses at end of cycle life. This is a procedural requirement, not a design requirement, and therefore is outside the scope of the DTS.

  • The DTS requires an emergency shutoff device on every dispenser. This will give the general public access the ESD and make the fuelling system vulnerable to nuisance emergency shutoffs. Providing an ESD at the dispenser is not common practice for gasoline fuelling stations. If there is an incident at a dispenser, attempting to access an ESD there may actually put the operator in a greater hazard than if they simply evacuated the area.

  • The safety distances in the DTS seem to have been determined by surveying other standards (NFPA 55, etc.) and selecting the SHORTEST distance for each situation. It is unclear that analysis was performed to validate the distances selected. Using these distances will cause this specification to be in conflict with many other standards. Additionally, a great deal of work is being performed to more scientifically determine these safety distances. NFPA 2 (and likely other standards) will be adopting these distances when the reports are published. This will lead to conflicting requirements between published codes and standards and the TS.

  • Allowing equipment, storage, piping, etc. only on horizontal roofs of single story buildings is unnecessarily restrictive. In fact the natural buoyancy of hydrogen may make the highest possible location preferred in some installations. And, supports could easily accommodate equipment (especially storage) on a pitched roof. If some national codes limit installations to single story roofs as implied by the text, then that is fine for those nations. It is not necessarily a good reason for inclusion in an international TS or IS.

  • The PRV Set point is specified in the DTS as 1.38 times Nominal working pressure (NWP). The issue is whether it should be 1.4 for harmonization with common practice to use two significant figures in PRV set points.

The document clearly is not ready to be an International Standard. The question now is whether we feel it should be published as a TS, as it stands. If 2/3 of the P-member countries vote in favour of the DTS, it would be published as a Technical Specification without changes and comments could be considered in the subsequent effort to develop the International Standard. If the DTS fails to receive 2/3 of the votes for approval, it would go back to the Work Group for resolution of comments, and a second DTS would be prepared. Although a TS is not an International Standard, many US experts are concerned that the nature of the omissions in the DTS warrant a second DTS. Otherwise there would be a published TS that is in conflict with US codes and standards, which could impact commercialization on a global level. Therefore NHA members are encouraged to contact Karen Hall to indicate how you would like the NHA to vote. In addition, comments of any nature (technical, general, or editorial) are welcome.

Comments to be considered in the NHA vote should be sent to Karen Hall ( no later than November 3.

U.S. Fuel Cell Council Leads Efforts for Transportation and Shipment of Small Fuel Cells and Their Fuels
Robert Wichert, U.S. Fuel Cell Council

Over the past three years the fuel cell and hydrogen industries have made great progress on standards and regulations for the transportation of small fuel cells and their fuels. Standards and regulations for fuel cells and their fuels, including hydrogen, have progressed by defining the requirements for shipping, transporting and carrying fuel cells and their fuels both for commercial distribution and for personal use. Prior to 2005, some fuel cell fuels could not be properly shipped or transported in normal commerce at all. Starting next year fuel cells and fuel cell fuels can be shipped in accordance with the 15th Revised Edition of the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods Model Regulations, when adopted by the various authorities regulating shipment worldwide. This November the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) will consider changes to their Technical Instructions For The Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air that would incorporate the previous changes to the 15th Revised Edition of the UN Model Regulations and also allow all manner of fuel cells and their fuels to be transported by air, and carried on board passenger aircraft for passenger use. Robert Wichert of the US Fuel Cell Council serves as the industry representative to ICAO and to the United Nations and can be contacted for more information on these topics. 

The first fuel cell fuel type to be addressed by the United Nations Sub-Committee of Experts on the Transportation of Dangerous Goods was methanol. Approved in December of 2004, the proper shipping name - UN 3473 - FUEL CELL CARTRIDGES Containing Flammable Liquids was included in the 14th Revised Edition of the UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods. Subsequent to that approval, the fuel cell industry petitioned the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to allow passengers to carry fuel cells and their fuels on board passenger aircraft for passenger use in flight. In November of 2005, ICAO approved not only methanol but also formic acid and butane for passenger carry-on and passenger use in flight, providing that an international specification for the safety of such systems was followed. This international specification, IEC PAS 62282-6-1, Fuel cell technologies - Part 6-1: Micro fuel cell power systems - Safety was published early in 2006 under the leadership of Harry Jones of Underwriters Laboratories. ICAO allowed this use by including these fuel cells and fuel cell fuels in their publication of the ICAO Technical Instructions For The Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air, which became effective January 1, 2007. This was somewhat remarkable, actually, since formic acid and butane fuel cells were not listed in the UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods and UN listing is normally a prerequisite for coverage by the ICAO Technical Instructions.

Although adoption of the ICAO Technical Instructions For The Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air is automatic in many countries, in the United States the US Department of Transportation must modify Title 49 of the Federal Code of Regulations (49CFR) to accommodate the change. The Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration agency (PHMSA) of the US Department of Transportation issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on September 20, 2007 to do just that. The final outcome of this rule change will be decided later this year.

Also in December of 2004, the proper shipping name – UN 3468 HYDROGEN IN A METAL HYDRIDE STORAGE SYSTEM was added to the 14th Revised Edition of the UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods. This made it possible to ship hydrogen in a metal hydride. Before this time it could not be shipped properly at all because it had attributes not covered by the current regulations. After the 14th Revised Edition of the UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods was published in January of 2006 and adopted by the various modal authorities having jurisdiction worldwide, hydrogen stored in a metal hydride could be shipped, but only with the explicit permission of the country where it was being shipped. This tended to discourage the use of hydrogen in metal hydrides since obtaining the explicit permission of each country where the system might be shipped was a difficult process. In November of 2005 the International Civil Aviation Organization approved modifications to UN 3468 that allowed shipment by air without explicit permission of the country where the system was shipped, providing that an international specification for the safety of such systems was followed. This international specification, IEC PAS 62282-6-1, Fuel cell technologies - Part 6-1: Micro fuel cell power systems - Safety also required compliance with another international specification, ISO TS 16111, Transportable gas storage devices -- Hydrogen absorbed in reversible metal hydride. ISO TS 16111 was developed under the leadership of Ned Stetson who now works in the hydrogen storage program at the US Department of Energy. Both of these specifications were developed by the fuel cell and hydrogen industries during the same time frame for this purpose, among others.

In 2006 the fuel cell industry, through the kind assistance of the US Department of Transportation and Transport Canada, petitioned the United Nations Sub-Committee of Experts on the Transportation of Dangerous Goods for proper shipping names for the following additional fuel cell fuels:

  • UN 3476 Fuel cell cartridge or fuel cell cartridge contained in equipment or fuel cell cartridge packed with equipment, containing water-reactive substances (e.g. borohydrides)

  • UN 3477 Fuel cell cartridge or fuel cell cartridge contained in equipment or fuel cell cartridge packed with equipment, containing corrosive substances (e.g. borohydrides or formic acid)

  • UN 3478 Fuel cell cartridge or fuel cell cartridge contained in equipment or fuel cell cartridge packed with equipment, containing hydrogen in metal hydride

  • UN 3479 Fuel cell cartridge or fuel cell cartridge contained in equipment or fuel cell cartridge packed with equipment, Containing liquefied flammable gas (e.g. butane)

And to amend UN 3473 as indicated below:

  • UN 3473 Fuel cell cartridge or fuel cell cartridge contained in equipment or fuel cell cartridge packed with equipment, containing flammable liquids (e.g. methanol)

This request was granted, and these new proper shipping names will take effect upon publication of the 15th Revised Edition of the UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods in January of 2008, with adoption by the various modal authorities having jurisdiction worldwide to follow.

Now that proper shipping names for hydrogen stored in metal hydride, flammable gases (butane) and corrosive substances (borohydrides and formic acid) are listed in the UN recommendations, the US Fuel Cell Council, on behalf of the fuel cell industry, has again petitioned ICAO to allow carry-on and use of all fuels by airline passengers. This will be considered in November, 2007, at the 21st meeting of the ICAO Dangerous Goods Panel.

Subsequent to granting the permission to carry-on methanol, formic acid and butane fueled fuel cells, terrorist plots to use liquids as a weapon have limited liquids that may be brought on board aircraft from outside the secure area at airports worldwide. The US Fuel Cell Council, on behalf of the fuel cell industry, is working with the US Transportation Security Administration agency (TSA), as well as the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) to cope with this situation. As part of this strategy the US Fuel Cell Council will ask ICAO to consider allowing fuel cells and their fuels to be put into checked baggage at the 21st meeting of the ICAO Dangerous Goods Panel in November, 2007.

A simplified timeline for small fuel cell shipment regulations is given below:

  • December 2004 – UN Approves UN 3473 - FUEL CELL CARTRIDGES Containing Flammable Liquids and UN 3468 HYDROGEN IN A METAL HYDRIDE STORAGE SYSTEM in the14th Edition of the UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods – Takes effect January 1, 2006.

  • November 2005 – ICAO approves transport of UN 3473 and UN 3468 by air and passenger aircraft carry-on and use of formic acid, butane and methanol fuel cells – Takes effect January 1, 2007.

  • February 2006 – IEC PAS 62282-6-1, Fuel cell technologies - Part 6-1: Micro fuel cell power systems - Safety is published.

  • October 2006 -- ISO TS 16111, Transportable gas storage devices -- Hydrogen absorbed in reversible metal hydride is published.

  • December 2006 – UN Approves UN 3476, UN 3477, UN 3478, UN 3479 and amends UN 3473 – Takes effect January 1, 2008.

  • September 2007 – US Department of Transportation PHMSA issues notice of proposed rulemaking to allow fuel cells and fuel cell fuels to be carried on board and used by airline passengers. Other countries have already done this, worldwide.

  • November 2007 (Future) – ICAO considers passenger carry-on, checked baggage and air shipment of all fuel cell fuels – Takes effect January 1, 2009.

U.S. DOT Moves to Approve Fuel Cells for Airplane Use
George Relan, MTI MicroFuel Cells Inc.

MTI MicroFuel Cells Inc. (MTI Micro), developer of the award-winning Mobion® micro fuel cell technology for handheld electronic devices and a subsidiary of Mechanical Technology Incorporated (MTI) (NASDAQ: MKTY), and the Methanol Institute, the trade association of the global methanol industry, announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation (“DOT”) today issued a proposed rulemaking to allow passengers to carry and use micro fuel cells and methanol fuel cartridges on-board airplanes to power consumer electronic

The proposed rulemaking which allows passengers to carry micro fuel cells in the airplane cabin along with up to two spare fuel cartridges per person would harmonize U.S. transportation regulations with global regulations adopted by the International Civil Aviation Organization (“ICAO”) that went into effect on January 1, 2007. A number of countries around the world, including Canada, China, Japan, and the United Kingdom, have already incorporated the passenger allowance into their national standards.

“For everyone that boards an airplane, safety is of paramount importance. Today’s action by the U.S. DOT is a clear endorsement that fuel cell systems and methanol fuel cartridges can meet the most rigorous safety standards,” said Methanol Institute Vice President for Communications & Policy Gregory Dolan. “We are working together with industry leaders like MTI Micro who has been very active in helping advance codes and standards to establish the regulations favorable to bringing products to market.”

“At MTI Micro, our Mobion® direct methanol fuel cell technology has reached the stage where we believe we could be one of the first companies to introduce micro fuel cells for consumer handheld electronics applications,” said Peng Lim, CEO of MTI. “This DOT
decision is important because it lays the groundwork for Mobion® to be carried in airplane passenger compartments and it validates our longstanding choice of methanol as a fuel.”

As part of its commercialization plan, MTI Micro is working towards manufacturing readiness in 2008 and commercially available products in 2009.

For further information contact:

George Relan, VP of Corporate Development
Mechanical Technology Incorporated
(518) 533-2220


Greg Dolan, VP of Communications & Policy
Methanol Institute
(703) 248-3636

About MTI MicroFuel Cells
MTI MicroFuel Cells Inc., a subsidiary of Mechanical Technology Incorporated, (NASDAQ: MKTY), is the developer of the award winning Mobion® direct methanol micro fuel cell technology. The Company has a world-class team of entrepreneurial business executives, researchers and scientists; a number of system prototypes demonstrating size reductions and performance improvements; significant related intellectual property; and has received government awards and developed strategic partnerships to help accelerate commercialization. More information is available at

About the Methanol Institute
The Methanol Institute serves as the trade association of the global methanol industry. Our member companies include the principal producers of methanol, as well as methanol distributors, industry suppliers and consumers. MI works to encourage the use of
methanol as a hydrogen carrier for variety of fuel cell technology applications. For more information about the Methanol Institute please visit

Statements in this press release which are not historical fact including statements regarding management’s intentions, hopes, beliefs, expectations, representations, projections, plans or predictions of the future are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

Such statements include, among others, future prospects and applications for fuel cell systems; MTI Micro’s future business prospects, technology and performance; the market potential for and progress MTI Micro is making in developing its Mobion® fuel cell systems and preparing for manufacturing; the impact that the proposed rulemaking by the DOT may have on MTI Micro’s business prospects; and, the timing or success of entry into the consumer market by MTI Micro. All forward-looking statements are made as of
today, and MTI and MTI Micro disclaim any duty to update such statements. It is important to note that MTI Micro’s and MTI’s actual results could differ materially from those projected in forward-looking
statements. Factors that could cause the anticipated results not to occur include, among others, risks related to financing; uncertainties in development, manufacturing, and competition; and the risk factors
listed from time to time in MTI’s SEC reports including but not limited to, the Annual Report on Form 10- K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q.