Designed and built entirely by the South China University of Technology the largest demonstration power plant in the world, operating on the principle of fuel cells proton exchange membrane (PEM), has been located on the site of the University City District. This technology is commonly used in the fields of transport and laptops.
The demonstration plant occupies an area of 2,000 m2, and works 24/7. The electricity produced by this plant is connected to the grid of the University. The hot water as a by-product could be used for everyday life. The efficiency reaches 90%.
Within the central, natural gas is first converted into hydrogen. Then the hydrogen enters the group-generating fuel cells to produce electrical power and hot water. Using this technology, a cubic meter of natural gas could produce at least two cubic meters of hydrogen. Electricity production is 30% higher than that obtained by direct burning of natural gas. Thus, the issue of pollution is reduced by 60%. In addition, the cost of fuel cells is that only 6000-7000 yuan (1 Euro = 9.2 yuan) per kilowatt, or 1/10th of the international market price. One researcher said the cost could stoop much more, if the production of fuel cells grew in scope.
Along with this construction project, the South China University of Technology also achieved several important technology performance on the topic of fuel cells proton exchange membrane, including the preparation of highly active catalyst and essential, as the Preparation of catalyst at low concentration of platinum.