Fuel Cell Researchers Ask Legislators For Home

CLEVELAND (AP) - Case Western Reserve University plans to ask the Legislature for $3.5 million in the state's next capital improvements budget to help build a research institute that will deal with fuel cells and miniaturized power systems.

The Case Advanced Power Institute probably wouldn't be built for about three years, said Robert Savinell, dean of engineering at Case Western. The university expects most of the $20 million cost for starting the institute to be paid for with private donations and foundation grants.

Savinell said fuel cells, which convert chemical energy to electricity, are energy-efficient and environmentally friendly.

He thinks automakers are likely to replace gasoline and diesel engines with fuel cells in the next 10 to 20 years.

The university also is part of a newly organized fuel cell consortium working with the Ohio Department of Development on fuel cell development and manufacturing in the Cleveland area.

Savinell said the institute's likely partners would be NASA, which pioneered fuel cell research in the 1960s, and universities who have researchers working in fields such as polymers and mechanical engineering.

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