ZAP (Sebastopol, CA) and Apollo Energy Systems Inc. (Pompano Beach, FL) announced the successful demonstration of a patented "ammonia cracker" technology for use as a method to power zero-emission, hydrogen fuel cell cars. Apollo's alkaline fuel cells are hydrogen fuel cells that derive their energy from ammonia; the patented "ammonia cracker" breaks the ammonia down into hydrogen to power the fuel cell. Apollo conducted the demonstration at its facilities in Pompano Beach.
In 2004, ZAP signed a licensing and distribution contract with Apollo Energy Systems for its alkaline fuel cell, ammonia cracker and lead-cobalt battery technologies as a partnership towards the development of ZAP CARS® powered by hydrogen fuel cells. ZAP will work with Apollo on the creation of a prototype fuel cell vehicle using a DOT-approved Smart Car that would be powered by a 60 kW Apollo fuel cell, equipped with an 8.7 gallon ammonia fuel tank that would offer a cruising range of up to 200 miles per refueling with zero emissions.
The companies envision a coast-to-coast "hydrogen expressway" from Florida to California. Hydrogen required for the fuel cells would come from liquid ammonia, which would be stored in large tanks at gas stations along the way. The electric vehicles would "fill up" with liquid ammonia, which then feeds into Apollo's ammonia cracker, similar to catalytic converters in modern automobiles. The ammonia cracker would convert the ammonia to hydrogen for the fuel cells.