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Posted: Oct 12, 2010

SiGNa Chemistry, Inc. Selected for Development Innovation Ventures Program from the U.S. Agency for International Development

(Nanowerk News) SiGNa Chemistry, Inc. today announced that they have been named as one of the first eight recipients of a grant awarded through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The grant is endowed by the newly launched "Development Innovation Ventures" (DIV), an initiative modeled after private sector venture capital programs. DIV looks to invest in companies creating proven, cost-effective and scalable solutions, capable of solving both civilian and military core development problems, as with SiGNa Chemistry's e-bike powered by a removable, portable clean-energy power source.
"SiGNa Chemistry's fuel-cell power source is the type of transformative clean energy solution that will have an enormous impact on developing, third-world countries throughout the world, from making it possible to deliver life-saving medicines to the rural poor to providing a safe, efficient way to power emergency power systems during disasters," said Michael Lefenfeld, founder and CEO of SiGNa Chemistry, Inc.
SiGNa Chemistry's 300W fuel-cell powered module incorporates a unique clean-energy storage solution that operates at one-sixth the cost, weight and volume of existing battery technology. The solution which powers SiGNa Chemistry's advanced e-bike is capable of traveling up to 60 miles on a single cartridge with no emissions. However, the power source is in fact designed so that it can be removed and serve as an independent energy alternative for non-transportation technology including computers, cell phones, refrigerators and even water pumps.
The technology behind SiGNa Chemistry's power solution can be used to aid in medical or disaster situations by powering military or civilian emergency response systems, medical refrigerators and telecommunications. Also, its portability makes this power-source potentially invaluable for deployment within developing countries across the globe, with no access to electricity.
According to the International Energy Agency, 1.45 billion people currently have no access to electricity, including 400 million in India and 88 percent of those living within Sub-Sahara Africa. Providing a means of electricity is expected to dramatically increase health and mortality rates. For example, the solution could aid in the delivery of life-saving medicine or vaccines to rural populations by powering small refrigerators, which could then in turn be placed on the back of bicycles or scooters to reach places with no access to roads.
SiGNa Chemistry's power source converts hydrogen into electrical energy at significantly higher efficiencies than traditional, internal combustion engines. The source, which operates similar to a battery with anodic and cathodic reactions, can operate for thousands of hours without maintenance, while only emitting water, air and DC power. Most importantly, SiGNa Chemistry's unique solution solves the hydrogen storage problem, the main deterrent to wide deployment of fuel cells, by developing a process in which sodium silicide reacts with water instantaneously to produce hydrogen.
For "Stage 1" of the award, SiGNa Chemistry will work closely with USAID to develop a set of specifications for the prototype electric bicycle. These requirements will aim to produce a safe, more-durable, user-friendly transportation alternative, capable of deployment in third-world countries. The specification process will include interviews with perspective users and an evaluation and testing period conducted in real-world settings.
About SiGNa Chemistry
SiGNa Chemistry, Inc., a green chemical technology company, has developed a nanotechnology-based solution that makes reactive metals far more efficient, safe, and cost effective. These products are fundamental components used for general synthesis in the pharmaceutical, petrochemical, specialty chemical and environmental remediation industries and provide the ability to enable portable fuel cells by safely producing pure, low pressure hydrogen gas on demand. SiGNa's products have overcome safety and cost efficiency issues and represents the most substantial scientific breakthrough in reactive metals in over 100 years. For more information, visit (
Source: SiGNa Chemistry (press release)
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