We have got news from two companies going a step ahead the use of lead-acid batteries in forklifts, at least towards the promotion of fuel cells. In one hand, there's GrafTech International, Ltd, which President Bush recently visited, in the other LiftOne and Engineered Solutions. Both companies have introduced fuel cell powered forklifts.
As is widely known, President Bush is a firm supporter of the development of fuel cells, a key for future oil-independence, according to his words, and thus he showed his support when visiting GrafTech in Parma, OH. GrafTech unveiled a new graphite material for the proton exchange membrane of a fuel cell made by Cellex Provider Products. The cell is mounted in a Crown model PE End-Controlled Rider Pallet Truck.

The other introduced model (2 units), by LiftOne and Engineered Solutions (a division of Carolina Tractor) were introduced at Michelin's Columbia,SC plant, a project sponsored by the Greater Columbia Fuel Cell Challenge (made up of the City of Columbia, the University of South Carolina, EngenuitySC and the South Carolina Research Authority).

In both cases, benefits are claimed for the use of fuel cells: the cleanliness of use, simplicity and power range. And, the worst drawback is offset because they're vehicles that are in a single location, which allows the installation of specific central fuelling stations.

Related:
[Sources: LiftOne, Hydrogenics, GrafTech]


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