Methanol Fuel Cell Unveiled for Lift Trucks, Other Powered Vehicles

FREMONT, Calif.—Oorja Protonics, a developer and manufacturer of fuel cells, launched its new direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) technology.

According to the company, direct methanol fuel cells eliminate barriers associated with hydrogen fuel cell adoption, namely the high price of compressed hydrogen gas, lack of hydrogen supply infrastructure and hydrogen’s inherent volatility as a fuel source.

“Methanol is a much better alternative to hydrogen fuel cells due to its low cost, ready availability, and greatly reduced volatility,” said Oorja in a release.

In its announcement, Oorja said the fuel cell can be used as a retrofit for pallet loaders, tuggers and automated guided vehicles. On its Web site, however, the company says the technology can also be used in lift trucks. The OorjaPac, the company’s methanol fuel cell, continuously charges the batteries of vehicles while they operate, the company said.

“Large distribution centers and manufacturing facilities can create substantial savings and improve productivity by using the OorjaPac,” said Sanjiv Malhotra, chief executive officer and founder of Oorja. “We are confident that Oorja’s innovative on-board charging technology represents a bold step forward and its adoption in the material handling industry is a key predictor of the role methanol fuel cell technology will play in other markets.”

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