Hydrogen storage project wins UQ Business School competition

October 16, 2005

An innovative hydrogen storage idea has won the $100,000 UQ Business School Enterprize competition.

Start-up company Hydrexia Pty Ltd has beaten seven Enterprize competition finalists to score $100,000 seed funding to progress their technology.

The company's technology uses a solid-state storage method based on an innovative magnesium alloy that is manufactured using low cost casting techniques.

Hydrexia CEO Jeffrey Ng said the technology was five times cheaper than its closest competitor.

"Hydrogen has the highest potential of the alternative fuels to replace carbon-based fuels, such as oil and coal, because its by-products - heat and water - have no negative impact on the environment," he said.

"Progress towards the wider adoption of fuel cells that use hydrogen has been hampered by the lack of a hydrogen storage technology that meets three key requirements: storing a high density of hydrogen, safely and at low cost.

"Hydrexia's proprietary technology solves the hydrogen storage problem by delivering on all three of these requirements. That is why this technology removes one of the last remaining technical barriers to the broader use of fuel cells and hydrogen."

Winner of the i.lab technology incubator prize, LEO Tuning also offered Greenhouse benefits - this time by optimising vehicle tuning at all times using a new 'active-mapping' technique.

Larry Weng said the LEO Tuning system - which is named in honour of the inventor's late father - used real-time data from the engine to adjust the fuel mixture each revolution to meet the current operating conditions.

"We are looking forward to working with i.lab over the next 12 months to further develop the technology," he said.

"We'll have the benefit of i.lab's extensive network of investors and mentors as well as training opportunities and the use of office and meeting facilities."

Head of the UQ Business School Professor Tim Brailsford said the competition was fierce with all eight finalists presenting very strong commercialisation prospects.

"The standard of entries this year has been extremely high and I think all the finalists have the potential to become successful businesses," he said.

Now in its fifth year, UQ Business School's Enterprize competition provides $100,000 in seed capital to the winner.

Professor Brailsford said all the finalists were winners because the detailed business plans developed for Enterprize made each of the businesses much more appealing to investors.

"The Enterprize after-party is full of conversations between team members and potential investors, advisors, and mentors," he said.

"It's very exciting to be in at the beginning of so many future success stories."
For more information, contact Cathy Stacey, Marketing Development Manager, UQ Business School, telephone +61 733 656 179, email c.stacey@business.uq.edu.au

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