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Ilika plc (AIM: IKA), the advanced cleantech materials discovery company, announces that it will receive an equity investment of £149,380 from the Carbon Trust, through its Polymer Fuel Cells Challenge programme, to support the commercialisation of Ilika’s proprietary high performing electro-catalysts for use in fuel cell vehicles. Ilika will issue 271,600 new ordinary 1p shares at an issue price of 55p, which will be admitted to trading on 17th September 2012.

In a fuel cell, a controlled reaction between hydrogen and oxygen occurs. This reaction requires electro-catalysts, which are currently based on the precious metal, platinum. Ilika has developed a novel platinum-free catalyst which, on a cost/performance basis, promises to be 70% cheaper than the current industry standard.

As part of the Carbon Trust’s technical and commercial evaluation of the technology, Ilika submitted performance data for assessment by independent experts demonstrating the performance and stability of the catalyst. The performance data was generated in industry standard tests of membrane electrode assemblies (MEA’s) carried out at an independent fuel cell testing facility.

The electro-catalysts, which were originally discovered using Ilika’s high throughput materials development platform at its state-of-the-art facilities in Southampton, UK, have been subsequently manufactured to Ilika’s specification by a partner using an industrially-scalable process.

The investment from the Carbon Trust will support Ilika in having a larger quantity of the electro-catalyst made for testing by the major automotive OEMs that have expressed their interest in the technology.

Michael Rea, Chief Operating Officer of Carbon Trust, commented:

"We have been supporting Ilika's fuel cell work for some time. They continue to make good progress and the recent results provided to us show the major commercial and carbon-saving potential that this UK technology could unlock."

Graeme Purdy, Chief Executive of Ilika, added:

"We are excited by the Carbon Trust’s continuing support of our electro-catalyst technology following its independent review of our results. The continuing financial commitment from the Carbon Trust will enable Ilika to increase the scale of production of the material that has performed so promisingly in independent testing, allowing us to offer samples to our automotive commercialisation partners to validate its properties."