A £4.1 million facility dedicated to developing new sources of green, emission-free energy has been officially opened at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) by Lord Peter Mandelson.
The Manchester Fuel Cell Innovation Centre (MFCIC) aims to be at the forefront of hydrogen and fuel cell technology - which creates clean electricity through a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen.
What are fuel cells?
Hydrogen fuel cells have higher efficiency than diesel or gas engines, operate silently and produce only heat and water as waste products. The technology has the potential to power homes, offices, factories, cars and public transport, and can also be used as an energy storage device.
MCFIC will produce advanced materials to further the development of fuel cells and next-generation energy storage, utilising cutting-edge techniques such as nanomaterials and 3D printing.
Academic expertise and £2.5 million worth of specialist equipment at MFCIC will be shared with businesses across Greater Manchester so they can be trained in the new technology.
At the official opening ceremony, Lord Peter Mandelson, former MP and chancellor of MMU, said: “Decarbonising our industries and creating a sustainable infrastructure is key to modernising the UK economy.
‘Adoption across the region’
“This new centre at Manchester Metropolitan University will provide Greater Manchester with vital skills and tools in fuel cell technology, so that the region can play a significant role in the UK’s drive towards clean, renewable power.”
Amer Gaffar, director of MFCIC, added: “There is currently huge investment in hydrogen and fuel cell technology, both nationally and globally, and this will continue to grow.
“Our collaborations with SMEs will open up the vast market opportunities that fuel cells can bring to Greater Manchester business and industry – ensuring that this green technology is adopted across the region.”