Honda-The Power of Dreams
Honda Creates Miniature Fuel Cells to Produce Electricity in Joint Research Effort with Stanford University

Tokyo, September 4, 2001 --- Honda R&D Co., Ltd. (a wholly owned subsidiary of Honda Motor Co., Ltd.) and Stanford University in the United States have succeeded in creating electricity-producing miniature fuel cells. Details on the results of this joint research will be made public at the 200th meeting of the Electrochemical Society (ECS), scheduled for September 2 - 7 in San Francisco.

The present focus of the joint Honda-Stanford research project is the development of technologies for manufacturing fuel cell components, such as ultra-thin gas channels created by silicon micro-machining, and electrolytic membranes made with thin-film processing technology. Honda has not only produced the miniature fuel cells, but has also succeeded in generating a current with four cells connected in parallel on the same plane, instead of conventional vertical stacking. This simplified configuration results in higher output density and a more simplified manufacturing process than a conventional stacked layout. It is expected to enhance the potential for mass production and ensure a more stable product quality in micro-fuel cells.

In continuing research and development, Honda will strive to establish the foundation of miniature fuel cell technology by 2003. Honda will also examine the possibility of utilizing the miniature fuel cells as the next generation of power source for the company's advanced humanoid robots and recently announced walking assist system.

Honda has long held that the fuel cell will be the ultimate clean next-generation power plant required to address problems such as developing alternative fuels, reducing exhaust gas emissions, and reducing the effects of global warming. Honda has been conducting extensive research into fuel cell vehicles as well as the infrastructure required to supply hydrogen for these vehicles. This includes the feasibility of a solar-powered hydrogen production and fueling station for fuel cell vehicles.

Miniature fuel cells flow structure Cell cross-section (schematic)
Miniature fuel cells flow structure Cell cross-section (schematic)