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BASF and Tekion form a collaboration


- Novel source of energy for mobile electronic devices
- Innovative fuel cells supply more energy and are independent from the grid
- Formic acid as non-flammable fuel

BASF Aktiengesellschaft and Tekion, Inc., a North American developer of micro fuel cells for portable electronic products, announced today the signing of a collaboration agreement for the development of formic acid as the fuel for Tekion’s fuel cell technology.

BASF is the world’s leading chemical company and the largest producer of formic acid. BASF and Tekion will jointly develop and test a tailor made formic acid formulation. The two companies will also work together on the development of applicable codes and standards and will share their expertise on materials compatibility for fuel cells.

Tekion’s lead commercial application is a proprietary miniature “power pack” capable of fitting inside or attaching to mobile electronic devices and allowing these devices to be off the grid TM. It is a micro fuel cell/battery hybrid offered to the market as the Formira Power Pack. A micro fuel cell recharges the battery allowing extended operation. The power packs are refueled with the simple swapping of a cartridge containing formic acid.

Neil Huff, President and CEO of Tekion, says, “We are extremely excited to be working with BASF. Their knowledge of formic acid and applicable chemical expertise will assist us tremendously in the commercialization of our Formira Power Pack.”

Mark Volmer, Head of the Regional Business Unit Acids in BASF’s Intermediates Division, says, “We are fascinated by Tekion’s innovative energy solution and will gladly support the development by contributing our comprehensive experience as the leading global supplier of formic acid.”

Tekion’s unique product technology provides a competitive advantage for portable electronic products in the power range up to 50 watts and energy range up to 100 watt-hours. Several products and markets fall within these power and energy levels including: industrial handheld computers, satellite communication devices, notebook PCs and other mobile products.

As the world’s largest producer of formic acid, with production facilities at the integrated Verbund sites in Ludwigshafen, Germany, and Nanjing, China, BASF makes the acid out of carbon monoxide and methanol, which are synthesized to form methyl formate in the first step. In the second step, this is then split up by means of water into methanol and formic acid. The acid helps to keep certain feeds fresh and free of salmonellae, removes paints and rust from metallic surfaces and scale from kettles and boilers. In breweries and wineries it disinfects kegs, casks and barrels; applied as an auxiliary in the pharmaceutical and crop protection industry it regulates pH values; in cleaning it acts as dirt remover and disinfectant.

About BASF

The Operating Division Intermediates of the BASF Group develops, produces and markets the world’s largest range of intermediates. The most important of the division’s more than 600 products include amines, diols, polyalcohols and acids. Among other applications, intermediates are used as starting materials for coatings, plastics, pharmaceuticals, textile fibers, detergents and crop protectants. Innovative BASF intermediates help to improve the properties of the final product and the efficiency of production processes. The ISO 9001:2000-certified operating division has access to plants at 15 production sites – four of them with joint venture partners – in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. In 2005, this BASF operating division with 2,665 employees generated world sales of 2 billion Euros. For more information, go to

BASF is the world’s leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products, agricultural products and fine chemicals to crude oil and natural gas. As a reliable partner to virtually all industries, BASF’s intelligent system solutions and high-value products help its customers to be more successful. BASF develops new technologies and uses them to open up additional market opportunities. It combines economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility, thus contributing to a better future. In 2005, BASF had approximately 81,000 employees and posted sales of more than €42.7 billion (approximately $50.4 billion). Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at

About Tekion

Tekion, Inc. is a North American company with operations in Champaign, Illinois and Burnaby, British Columbia. Tekion has an exclusive license for the Formira Fuel Cell technology from the University of Illinois. The patent covers the entire rights to the use of formic acid in a fuel cell. Formic acid is non-flammable and has high power density. In addition, Tekion’s fuel cell operates at low operating temperature, uses low-cost catalysts and requires few balance-of-plant components. By integrating advanced battery technology with a unique micro fuel cell technology, Tekion is creating a new Formira Power Pack capable of fitting inside or attaching to your mobile device. Further information on Tekion is available at


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