Proton Power Systems, a German developer of hydrogen fuel-cell technology, said it expects the world's first fuel-cell powered ship to operate from the middle of 2008.
Proton Power Systems is developing the ship as part of a €1.2 million ($1.6 million) contract funded by the European Commission's LIFE-Environment program, the Starnberg, Germany-based company said in a UK Regulatory News Service statement.
The ship, which is 25 meters long (82 feet) and can hold 100 passengers, will operate on the Alster river in Hamburg, Germany. Fuel cells, typically layers of plastic, carbon fiber and metals such as platinum, create electricity in a chemical process that combines hydrogen and oxygen. Under ideal conditions, the only byproduct is water vapor.
„Not only will the ship eliminate emissions, it is also much quieter,” CEO Felix Heidelberg said in the statement. „So a candlelit dinner on deck will no longer be spoiled by the sound of groaning engines and the smell of exhaust fumes.” Proton Power Systems first sold shares on London's Alternative Investment Market on October 31, 2006. (Bloomberg)