Borax Fuel Cell Car to be Road Tested This Year

DaimlerChrysler has unveiled an experimental minivan, the Natrium, which uses a fuel cell that obtains generate power from a mixture of sodium borohydride, a derivative of the detergent agent borax.

SACRAMENTO, California, US, 2002-01-09 [] Unlike other fuel cells, which often use flammable chemical mixtures, borax-based cells are safer, nontoxic, nonflammable, renewable and recyclable, according to the manufacturer, Millenium Cell of New Jersey. Chrysler says it plans to start road-testing the Natrium in California back streets, Nebraska highways and maybe the streets of Philadelphia early next year. The fuel cell system gives the Natrium a range of 300 miles, comparable to a gasoline-powered vehicles and significantly longer than other fuel cell vehicles. In addition, it has zero emissions, the sodium boro-hydride fuel is available in significant supplies and can be recycled, potentially providing an endless supply of fuel for transportation needs. After processing to release hydrogen for the fuel cell, the spent fuel is sodium borate which is chemically identical to borax. It can be reprocessed into sodium boro-hydride and re-used in a fuel cell vehicle. The Natrium’s fuel storage and processing system are packaged under the vehicle floor, making the van fully usable.