The AIM-listed firm said under the deal it will seek to obtain global preferential rights to integrate HiiROC’s plasma-based technology, which extracts hydrogen from methane and biomethane gas without emitting carbon dioxide, into its H-Power fuel cells.
AFC will also be granted exclusive rights to use HiiROC’s technology in key regions including the UK, Europe and Australia in the field of transportation, including electric vehicles.
If successful, the company said the partnership has the potential to “unlock natural gas as a zero-emission, low cost hydrogen fuel carrier”.
AFC is investing £100,000, payable in shares, into HiiROC’s scaling up programme, and is also planning to make up to £300,000 in ‘in-kind’ contributions to HiiRoc over 12-18 months to support the development of a prototype.
"Evaluation of low-cost hydrogen has been a key part of AFC Energy's commercialisation strategy over recent years. HiiROC's innovative new technology platform not only has the potential to open up new green hydrogen sources but could do so whilst utilising existing natural gas distribution infrastructure, making access to hydrogen fuel more readily available and affordable in developed and urban areas”, said AFC chief executive Adam Bond.
“While we look forward to the results of prototyping our H-Power system with that of HiiROC, we are also aware of several blue ribbon partners developing project opportunities with HiiROC which may leverage new opportunities for AFC Energy to open new markets reaffirming the future role of hydrogen as a key element of the world's future energy mix", he added.
News of the deal sent shares in AFC surging 5% to 20p in early deals on Monday.