American Hydrogen Corp. gains rights to Ohio University fuel research

August 07, 2007

ATHENS, Ohio (Aug. 7, 2007) -- It would be great -- and more environmentally responsible -- to run cars on hydrogen, but experts say it would cost about four times as much as gasoline. An Ohio University researcher has figured out how to produce hydrogen fuel inexpensively, and now she and the university have signed an agreement to license her technology to a corporation that will take it to the marketplace.

The company, American Hydrogen Corp., also has set up offices in Athens at the Ohio University Innovation Center. The license agreement grants American Hydrogen, a wholly owned subsidiary of Houston, Texas-based American Security Resources Corp. (OTCBB: ARSC), exclusive worldwide rights to commercialize the technology.

Gerardine Botte, associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering in the Russ College of Engineering and Technology, has developed the patent-pending ammonia catalytic electrolyzer technology, which efficiently converts ammonia into hydrogen to produce inexpensive fuel.

"The beauty of this technology is that it can go so many places. It could drive a car here, but it could even be in a shuttle in a mission to Mars in the future," Botte said.

It was the technology's application in clean-energy fuel-cell generators that drew American Hydrogen to Botte's groundbreaking research.

"We searched everywhere for a method to produce inexpensive hydrogen fuel. Dr. Botte's technology held the highest promise for knocking down the price of hydrogen to a rate that is competitive," Frank Neukomm, chairman and CEO of American Security Resources, said at the official signing.

The deal included two other components: a $600,000 sponsored research contract from American Hydrogen to support research and development of the technology, including funding for several student and technical staff members, and an agreement that grants The Ohio University Foundation equity in ARSC.

The first application for Botte's research will be in fuel for a hydrogen generator that produces electricity for homes and offices. Another ARSC subsidiary, Beaverton, Ore.-based HydraFuel Cell Corp., produces the generators and was looking for ways to make them affordable for consumers when it ran across Botte's research.

"We see the first sweet spot in the market being the introduction of the hydrogen economy in stationary applications, followed by mobile applications, and any place where power is intermittent, problematic and needs to be supported over an extended period of time," said Ben Schafer, president of American Hydrogen Corp. "The dreams are to make it possible for my grandchildren and their children to live in a world that has the energy necessary to continue to grow, to have the economy we enjoy today."

Botte is director of the university's Electrochemical Engineering Research Laboratory. In 2006, she earned the university's Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Outstanding Research Paper Award and the Martin E. and Ann D. White Research Award.

Ohio University Interim Vice President for Research James Rankin sees a bright future for Ohio University and the growth of its energy-related research. "We're calling it alternative energy, but maybe that word alternative is going away," he says. "It will be just clean-fuel technology."
ARSC ( is a holding company focused on clean-energy companies and technologies, including high-volume, mass-producible hydrogen fuel cells and wind power. ARSC is a component of the Ludlow Energy SmallCap Index (

Ohio University

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