Monday, August 12, 2013

C&EN: BASF closes fuel cell plant

From this week's C&EN, a sad remnant of the depths of the Great Recession (article written by Michael McCoy): 
Although the fuel-cell sector may finally be taking off, the German chemical giant BASF has decided to exit one part of the business and close a facility in Somerset, N.J. The move will affect about 25 employees. 
It was with some fanfare that BASF opened the $10 million Somerset facility in 2009. The company invited the press and the governor of New Jersey to see a factory where it would produce membrane electrode assemblies for high-temperature polymer electrolyte membrane, or PEM, fuel cells. 
Composed of electrodes, catalysts, and membranes, the assemblies allow hydrogen to react with oxygen to generate heat and electricity. BASF primarily targeted stationary applications such as backup generators and combined heat and power systems...
With the closure/bankruptcy of A123 Systems, it really feels like all the big-name cleantech organizations that were sprouting up in 2009-2010 have failed. Someone (me?) should do a tally -- I remember when the A123 Systems ads for electrochemists were the only thing to grace the jobs section of the back of C&EN...


  1. This may be another one to add:

  2. This is interesting, as they pulled out from organic photovoltaics quite recently as well...