Sprint Prepared For Tropical Storm Ida's Impact Sprint Nextel invested $340 million in Network Enhancements in Coastal Communities
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Fuel cell industry unity needed to achieve policy goals
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Proton Energy Sysytems Announces $1 million scholarship program
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Researchers Make Hydrogen Fuel Progress
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Funding helps seal hydrogen partnerships
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Hydrogen-Powered Military Aircraft Achieves Record
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Air Products Building World-Scale Hydrogen Plant at Monsanto in Louisiana
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November 19, 2009
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Sprint Prepared For Tropical Storm Ida's Impact Sprint Nextel invested $340 million in Network Enhancements in Coastal Communities

MOBILE, Ala., Nov 09, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- --Millions of Customers and First Responders Rely on Nextel Direct Connect(R) Sprint (NYSE: S) today said it is preparing for the potential impact of Tropical Storm Ida threatening to make landfall along the Gulf Coast areas of Alabama, Florida and Louisiana on Tuesday morning. As it does for every impending tropical storm or hurricane, Sprint is staging backup generators and personnel in strategic locations along the Gulf Coast to manage potential service impacts.

In 2008, Sprint invested more than $340 million in network enhancements for storm-prone states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas. This investment included adding new cell sites to the Nationwide Sprint(R) Network and Nextel(R) National Network, installing hundreds of permanent generators for critical wireless sites and network facilities as well as investment in additional portable generators.

Additionally, between 2005 and 2007, Sprint installed more than 250 hydrogen fuel cells on its networks, primarily in hurricane-prone cities along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. These fuel cells provide a much cleaner alternative to diesel-powered backup generators and are activated when service from the local electric utility is disrupted during severe weather or other natural disasters -- providing up to 15 hours of backup power.

As a standard practice, Sprint has permanent generators at all of its wireless and wireline switches, the network components where data and calls are routed to their final destination. In addition, permanent generators are installed at all of the company's network Points of Presence (POP), the facilities where traffic enters and leaves the company's global IP network, which facilitates dedicated data services for Sprint's corporate and government customers as well as other critical communications. These backup generators have automatic cutover switches to immediately neutralize any loss of commercial power.

Sprint also has a strong track record of providing critical communications and personnel to assist first responders with relief efforts. Sprint's network and business continuity personnel, and the Sprint Emergency Response Team (ERT) are staging additional Cell Sites on Wheels (COWs) and Satellite Cell on Light Trucks (SatCOLTS) for possible deployment.

COWs are mobile cell sites that can be deployed in impacted areas to restore service quickly. This equipment provides backup to the networks in the event of power outages or other damage that could result after a hurricane. Satellite Cell on Light Trucks (SatCOLTS), the design of which is proprietary to Sprint, are managed by the Sprint ERT and help facilitate communications among disaster relief and emergency response agencies.

Customers can take proactive steps before the storm hits. Sprint offers the following consumer tips to prepare for a possible landfall: -- Keep your wireless phone and backup batteries charged, but be aware that an interruption of wireline and commercial power could affect wireless calls.

-- If possible, get extra batteries and charge them.

-- In times of commercial power outages, a car adapter for your wireless phone should enable you to recharge the battery.

-- Keep phones and necessary accessories in a sealed plastic bag to avoid water damage.

-- Load family and emergency numbers into your wireless phone.

-- Wireless networks sometimes experience heavy traffic during emergency events, so remember to use Nextel Direct Connect(R) or send a text message.

For more information about Sprint Nextel hurricane preparation efforts, or to learn what you can do to prepare for a major storm, visit:

Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including two wireless networks serving more than 48 million customers at the end of the third quarter of 2009 and the first and only 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; industry-leading mobile data services; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone.

The company's customer-focused strategy has led to improved first call resolution and customer care satisfaction scores. For more information, visit

Sprint CONTACT: Sprint Crystal Davis, 571-288-6806

November 19, 2009
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Fuel cell industry unity needed to achieve policy goals


The successful effort to restore US Department of Energy funding for hydrogen and fuel cell programs has made the industry stronger and more united, but the fuel cell industry still must fight for its place in the energy agenda of the 21st century, says the President of the US Fuel Cell Council (USFCC).

‘Our industry will emerge from 2009 stronger, more resolute, more open, more active in the marketplace, and more willing to embrace collective action,’ says Michael Hicks, USFCC President as well as Fuel Cell Engineer at fuel cell system developer IdaTech. ‘But the fight is far from over. The real questions concern the role that fuel cells and hydrogen play as an economic force and as a partner in the energy mix for the 21st century.’

Hicks spoke at the opening of the 2009 Fuel Cell Seminar and Exposition in Palm Springs, California.

In May US Energy Secretary Steven Chu proposed to eliminate fuel cell vehicle and hydrogen fuel research funding. The proposal was largely rejected by Congress, which subsequently approved nearly $300 million for fuel cell and hydrogen development. Hicks cites strong Congressional leadership for the fuel cell turnaround, backed up by grass roots activism led by the USFCC and its allies.

Hicks also notes increased government support for fuel cell development in Europe and Asia, and significant private sector sales and fuel cell product announcements in 2009.

Given the needs of society and the needs of the fuel cell industry, says Hicks, ‘it is not enough to simply maintain support for more or less the same old programs. What we need from government is money, certainly. But we also need a sense of shared enterprise, a collective understanding of fuel cells’ commercial and – just as important – societal potential, and, ultimately, a reinvigorated partnership that will hasten the day when we achieve both.’

Hicks continues: ‘These needs are similar everywhere in the world that fuel cells hope to compete, and everywhere energy policy, global warming and the environment are debated.’

‘We are stronger acting together than we are acting separately,’ he concludes. ‘We must find the discipline to look beyond our day-to-day challenges, at the larger challenges we face as an industry. And we must continue to educate and continue to be advocates.’

The US Fuel Cell Council is an industry association dedicated to fostering the commercialization of fuel cell technologies in the United States. Its members include many of the world’s leading fuel cell developers, manufacturers, suppliers, and customers.

November 19, 2009
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Proton Energy Sysytems Announces $1 million scholarship program

Global Hydrogen Leader to Fuel the Next Generation of Scientific Innovators among High School Seniors

proton energy systemsWallingford, CT -- November 17, 2009-- Global hydrogen energy leader Proton Energy Systems announced today it is launching a $1 million scholarship program aimed at high school seniors across the nation. The Proton Energy Scholarship will recognize and award high school seniors who demonstrate outstanding achievement, excellence and promise in the field of science or technology, and who plan to pursue higher education in this field.

The scholarship program is supported and funded by Tom Sullivan, owner of Proton Energy and founder of the national chain Lumber Liquidators.  The scholarship will award four-year undergraduate scholarship prizes with a total value of up to $100,000 each.  Honorable Mentions, Proton Energy Achievers, will be awarded $500 prizes.  Sullivan has committed $1 million to the Hydrogen Education Foundation (HEF), who is administering the scholarship program.

"Proton Energy is committed to innovation and creativity, and it is our hope that through this scholarship, we can help inspire young people with an interest in science and technology," said Sullivan.  "The cost of college can sometimes be overwhelming - especially in this economy - and we are proud to help alleviate this burden, while also encouraging new ideas among some of America's most promising high school students in a field that holds tremendous importance for the future."

Proton Energy is the world's leading supplier of onsite hydrogen generators utilizing PEM (proton exchange membrane) technology, which creates high purity hydrogen from de-mineralized water and electricity.  The company has been developing and manufacturing world-class electrolysis systems since 1996, with more than 1200 units deployed world-wide, on every continent. Proton Energy has also been involved in more than a dozen hydrogen fueling stations currently in operation around the nation, and its commitment to innovation has been recognized with contracts from the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy.

"We are thrilled that Proton chose the Hydrogen Education Foundation to administer this exciting new program," said Jeffrey Serfass, President of the HEF.  "We look forward to identifying and awarding star students who will help us address the global energy and environmental challenges ahead."

The Proton Energy Scholarship, aimed at high school seniors, will play an important complementary role to two other HEF programs, the Hydrogen Student Design Contest and the H-Prize, which respectively hold competitions for university-level students and innovators seeking excellence beyond higher education.

Proton Energy Scholarship applicants will be evaluated on academic performance, strength of application, commitment to further education in a science or technology related field, financial need and demonstrated leadership, work ethic and community involvement. Deadline for applications is February 10, 2010.  Winners will be announced on April 15, 2010.

For more information on the Proton Energy Scholarship, application guidelines, and to apply, visit

Mark Schiller
Proton Energy Systems

Laura Wareck
O'Neill and Associates

About Proton Energy Systems
Proton Energy Systems designs and manufactures proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrochemical systems to make hydrogen from water in a zero pollution process producing safe, pure, reliable onsite hydrogen to meet today's global hydrogen requirements.  Proton Energy Systems has been developing and manufacturing world-class electrolysis systems since 1996, with thousands of units deployed world-wide, on every continent.  With a reputation for building robust, reliable, and safe systems, federal, state, and commercial partners repeatedly seek the creative solutions that Proton Energy Systems has proven it is capable of delivering.  For more information, visit

About the Hydrogen Education Foundation
HEF is the charitable, education-focused arm of the National Hydrogen Association, the largest hydrogen trade association in the world. The HEF currently administers four hallmark programs: the H2 & You outreach program, the Hydrogen Student Design contest, the H-Prize Competition and now the Proton Energy Scholarship Program.

November 19, 2009
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Researchers Make Hydrogen Fuel Progress

Study Shows Promising Chemical Hydrogen Storage System Can Be Recycled

By Michael Orcutt

In what may prove to be a long stride toward swapping hydrogen fuel cells for gas tanks in the clean-running cars of the future, researchers have found a better way to efficiently store hydrogen fuel.

The storage problem is one obstacle that has blocked hydrogen-powered cars from becoming commercially realistic. Now researchers have found a way to recycle spent fuel from one of the most promising hydrogen-storage compounds, a lightweight solid known as ammonia borane.  Ammonia borane can store large amounts of hydrogen in a compact, lightweight form — a necessity in the confined space of a vehicle.

GM Equinox

While previous research has shown that hydrogen can be harvested from ammonia borane for use in a fuel cell, the process leaves behind spent fuel. But researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory and the University of Alabama have shown that the byproduct can be efficiently converted back into usable fuel through a series of chemical reactions.

”The stumbling block to this point has been: how do you regenerate the spent fuel? To date, this fuel recycle scheme represents the most promising result in this area,” said John Gordon, a chemist at Los Alamos National Laboratory and a lead author of the study, published in September, in the journal Angewandte Chemie.

Hydrogen has been sought as an alternative to fossil fuels because it can be used in a fuel cell to produce electrical energy without releasing harmful pollutants.  But gallon for gallon it’s not as energetic as gasoline, so it hasn’t become a viable transportation fuel.

A vehicle must carry large volumes of hydrogen, usually in the form of compressed gas. Bulky fuel tanks add extra weight and take up cargo space in addition to being a fire risk in an accident.  The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has warned that the technology must improve to facilitate a more lightweight, low-volume system — one that allows a car to drive at least 300 miles on a single fill-up.

Ammonia borane is an attractive solution to the storage problem. It is made of lightweight elements that can bond to lots of hydrogen atoms.  Since the bonded hydrogen can be removed, ammonia borane can act like a fuel tank that stores more hydrogen atoms at lower volumes than hydrogen gas.

The new technique is an “elegant solution,” said University of Ottawa chemist R. Tom Baker, but there are still too many steps for it to be practical at the industrial level.  Though not part of this study, Baker’s contribution to previous ammonia borane research laid the groundwork for the hydrogen-removal method the group employed.  “This is a big advance, and it allows them to now think about the next advance, which is to reduce the number of operations in the process to get a more direct regeneration to happen,” he said.

Still, a simple, more direct recycle process would represent just one piece of the larger hydrogen car puzzle, albeit an important one.

Ideally, the fuel could be recycled without having to be removed from the vehicle, said John Hemminger, a chemist at the University of California, Irvine, and chair of the Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee, which provides independent advice to the DOE.  While this finding does not solve that problem, he said, “The authors do describe interesting new chemistry that may eventually lead to an efficient regeneration process. A simple fuel regeneration process that could be carried out on-board a vehicle would be a huge step forward for hydrogen vehicles.”

November 6, 2009
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Funding helps seal hydrogen partnerships

Congress recently included $174 million in next year's budget for hydrogen transportation research. This came after the Obama administration had recommended drastic cuts in favor of alternative energy technologies that might come on the market faster, like plug-in electric cars.

Shannon Baxter-Clemmons, executive director of the S.C. Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Alliance, talked about the funding of hydrogen transportation research with The State:

What does the passage by Congress of the hydrogen funding portion of the Energy and Water Bill mean for South Carolina?

"It means that the federal government is still a strong partner with industry in pursuing a family of technologies that are truly clean, safe and secure energy for the United States. The bill funds projects in other alternative energy areas too because we, as a country, have to take a broader and more long-term vision for solving our energy challenges and recognize that there is no one 'silver bullet.'"

How does hydrogen fit in with other types of alternative energy, such as solar and biomass?

"Lots of other near-term technologies are great because they reduce pollution and petroleum dependence, but they don't fully eliminate either. Renewables, such as wind and biomass, coupled with hydrogen fuel cells, are a sustainable combination.

"Excess renewable capacity can be used to produce hydrogen that can be stored until times when the wind isn't blowing or the sun isn't shining. Stored hydrogen can be used in a fuel cell to provide power and 'firm' up the renewable energy."

When, if ever, will I be able to buy a hydrogen car for a reasonable price and drive it in South Carolina?

"Every major, private sector auto manufacturer has recently reaffirmed their long-term commitment to hydrogen fuel cell vehicles as the end game for vehicle technology. Car companies are currently leasing hydrogen fuel cell vehicles for reasonable prices ($600/month including fuel) in limited worldwide locations.

"Sales are scheduled to start in 2015, and the companies say that the cars will only cost $3,600 more than what we pay now. It's entirely possible that we will be able to buy reasonably priced hydrogen vehicles and drive them in S.C. within the next 10 years."

Beyond automobiles, what other applications of fuel cells and hydrogen are most likely to be successful and create private sector jobs in South Carolina?

"Cars are the toughest industry sector to tackle, but there are plenty of other areas in our lives where we need power. Off-road transportation, portable electronics, homes and buildings are a few I can name quickly.

"Currently, hydrogen fuel cell forklifts and backup power for communications (cell) towers are the best value propositions in the market. The next application in the private sector will most likely be on-the-go cell phone chargers and other portable products."

How do you answer critics who say that a hydrogen-based economy is not feasible in South Carolina and that government shouldn't be spending money trying to create it?

"Economists can show that, overall, as our standard of living increases so do our energy needs. Energy is the dominant issue facing our generation, and who is going to control our energy supplies is a valid question. There are no two ways about it, we must have an industry-government partnership to find the right balance of consumer demand, energy security and sustainability."

November 3, 2009
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Hydrogen-Powered Military Aircraft Achieves Record

The U.S. Navy has developed a hydrogen-powered aircraft that can fly for nearly an entire day without refueling.

During a test flight last week, the Ion Tiger, an unmanned air vehicle (UAV), stayed airborne for approximately 23 hours and 17 minutes, setting an unofficial endurance record for a flight powered by fuel-cell technology.

Hydrogen fuel cells produce electricity by combining hydrogen and oxygen, with only water and heat as byproducts. The electric fuel cell propulsion system onboard the aircraft features a 550-Watt (0.75 horsepower) fuel cell that researchers say is 4 times more efficient than a comparable internal combustion engine. The Ion Tiger weighs approximately 37 pounds and carries a 4- to 5-pound payload.

Small UAVs such as the Ion Tiger have the advantage of being nearly undetectable from the ground, allowing Navy officials to deploy the machines for a variety of specialized missions ranging from surveillance collection to communication links. And with the fuel cell system onboard the Ion Tiger, it is now possible to use UAVs to conduct long endurance missions that require a larger cruise range, reducing the number of daily launches and landings.

The military is also developing fuel-cell technology to improve the capabilities of ground, air and undersea vehicles and man-portable power for Marine expeditionary missions.

The Ion Tiger “successfully demonstrates ONR's vision to show how efficient, clean technology can be used to improve the warfighter's capabilities," said Michele Anderson of the Office of Naval Research.

November 3, 2009
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Air Products Building World-Scale Hydrogen Plant at Monsanto in Louisiana

Supply Agreement Provides Companies Operational and Environmental Benefits

LEHIGH VALLEY, Pa. (October 22, 2009) – Air Products (NYSE: APD), the leading global hydrogen provider, today announced the signing of a long-term supply contract with Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON) to build a new world-scale hydrogen production plant to be located at Monsanto’s Luling, Louisiana Roundup® facility.  The new hydrogen plant is scheduled to be on-stream in January 2012.

Air Products will build a steam methane reformer (SMR) producing over 100 million standard cubic feet per day (MMSCFD) of hydrogen.  The SMR will be connected to Air Products’ East Gulf Coast pipeline network, which supplies refineries with hydrogen needed to make cleaner burning transportation fuels, in addition to meeting the hydrogen needs of the local petrochemical industry.  In addition, the facility will produce additional hydrogen via a clean-up of a hydrogen-rich off-gas feed coming from Monsanto.  Monsanto will use steam from Air Products’ SMR process to benefit its Roundup® production plant.

“This agreement provides a win-win for Air Products and Monsanto.  Air Products adds a world-class SMR facility, which along with our previously announced Garyville and Baton Rouge SMRs, will enhance the reliability of our leading East Gulf Coast hydrogen pipeline system.  Monsanto’s benefits include a reduction in natural gas used to make steam and an improved outlet for its off-gas stream, which will now be purified and used to make hydrogen,” said Wilbur Mok, vice president–North America Tonnage Gases for Air Products.

“This is a relationship with outstanding potential.  It will strengthen our own operations and provide important benefits to both our community and industry in the area.  It will help us serve our farmer customers in a more environmentally sustainable manner,” said Mike Frank, Monsanto’s Manufacturing Director–Crop Protection Division.

The Air Products SMR will feature technology advancements to maximize facility energy efficiency and emission reductions.  “We have enhanced our SMR design to target minimal loss of heat to the environment, which in turn reduces natural gas usage requirements to make hydrogen.  These efforts and other productivity improvements support the company’s overall goals of reducing energy consumption and emissions,” said Tom Wendahl, manager–Tonnage Gases, East Gulf Coast Area for Air Products.

Air Products’ East Gulf Coast hydrogen pipeline system currently reaches more than 175 continuous miles from Baton Rouge to Chalmette, Louisiana.  The network has 15 hydrogen production source points feeding the pipeline system, including the recently announced hydrogen plants being built in Garyville and Baton Rouge, which have anticipated on-stream dates of October 2009 and April 2010, respectively.  Additionally, in the U.S. Gulf Coast, Air Products has a second and larger hydrogen pipeline system of over 300 miles reaching from the Houston Ship Channel in Texas to Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Air Products also has hydrogen pipeline networks operating around the world in the U.S. in Southern California; in Sarnia, Ontario and Edmonton, Alberta in Canada; and in Rotterdam in The Netherlands.

Air Products’ hydrogen facility in Luling will be built through the global alliance between Air Products and Technip.  This alliance, which has built over 30 hydrogen production facilities, continues to provide the worldwide refining industry with competitive technology and world-class safety.  Technip provides the design and construction expertise for steam reformers while Air Products provides the gas separation technology.  Air Products, through its extensive operating network, and Technip, from its large reference base, also bring effective operational and engineering knowledge to “design-in” high reliability and efficiency.  The plants are operated and maintained by Air Products under long-term agreements with customers.

About Air Products
Air Products (NYSE:APD) serves customers in industrial, energy, technology and healthcare markets worldwide with a unique portfolio of atmospheric gases, process and specialty gases, performance materials, and equipment and services.  Founded in 1940, Air Products has built leading positions in key growth markets such as semiconductor materials, refinery hydrogen, home healthcare services, natural gas liquefaction, and advanced coatings and adhesives.  The company is recognized for its innovative culture, operational excellence and commitment to safety and the environment.  In fiscal 2009, Air Products had revenues of $8.3 billion, operations in over 40 countries, and 18,900 employees around the globe.  For more information, visit:

About Technip
Technip is a world leader in the fields of project management, engineering and construction for the oil & gas industry, offering a comprehensive portfolio of innovative solutions and technologies.

With 23,000 employees around the world, integrated capabilities and proven expertise in underwater infrastructures (Subsea), offshore facilities (Offshore) and large processing units and plants on land (Onshore), Technip is a key contributor to the development of sustainable solutions for the energy challenges of the 21st century.

Present in 46 countries, Technip has operating centers and industrial assets (manufacturing plants, spoolbases, construction yard) on five continents, and operates its own fleet of specialized vessels for pipeline installation and subsea construction.

The Technip share is listed on Euronext Paris exchange and over the counter (OTC) in the USA.  For more information, visit:

About Monsanto
Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. Monsanto remains focused on enabling both small-holder and large-scale farmers to produce more from their land while conserving more of our world's natural resources such as water and energy. To learn more about our business and our commitments, please visit:

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