New technology to reduce the cost of producing hydrogen for use in fuel cells is being developed by the Avista Labs affiliate H2fuel LLC.SPOKANE, Washington, US, 2002-01-08 [SolarAccess.com] H2fuel develops hydrogen extraction and purification processes for use in the fuel cell industry. The membrane-based technology eliminates carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide from fuels such as natural gas and propane, allowing production of nearly pure hydrogen which, in turn, allows fuel cells to run more efficiently. H2fuel recently awarded a research contract to the University of Kentucky to synthesize and test a family of chemical transport membranes that efficiently and selectively remove the oxides of carbon from a gas mixture. The research is supplemented by a parallel effort funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. H2Fuel president Serge Randhava says the membrane-based approach to the extraction and purification of hydrogen from natural gas is a departure from other methods currently in use, and is expected to be less expensive. Avista Labs, a subsidiary of Avista Corp and a 70 percent owner of H2fuel of Mt. Prospect, Illinois, develops PEM fuel cells.