USC Columbia Fuel Cell Collaborative, Midlands Technical College and Trulite sign MOU for pilot facility in Columbia, SC

September 18, 2008

COLUMBIA, SC –  September 18, 2008 – The four charter members of the USC Columbia Fuel Cell Collaborative, Midlands Technical College and Trulite, Inc. ( have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for jointly developing a pilot manufacturing facility in Columbia, South Carolina.  The pilot facility will be located at Midlands Technical College’s Enterprise Campus Business Accelerator and will serve as Trulite’s North American manufacturing site for its high energy density Hydrocell™ fuel cartridges. Trulite, Inc. is the only fuel cell company to offer both fuel cell and fuel source in one fully integrated system, and its Hydrocell™ stores over 400 watt-hours of energy in one cartridge, which is then utilized by Trulite’s KH4 250 watt portable generator. 

“This MOU lays the groundwork for Trulite to establish a high rate manufacturing facility in the Columbia, South Carolina area. High rate manufacturing of our Hydrocell™ cartridges is an important step in the scale-up and commercialization of our KH4 generator and other related technologies,” said Ken Pearson, COO, Trulite, Inc. Trulite will receive up to $750,000 in assistance to build the new manufacturing capability. Of this assistance, $350,000 comes from SCRA’s SC Launch! program. Trulite expects to break ground within the next 60 days.

The joint project has been a region-wide collaborative effort supported by SCRA, SC Launch!, EngenuitySC, the City of Columbia, Midlands Technical College, the University of South Carolina, Richland County, the Central SC Alliance and the South Carolina Department of Commerce.

 “The unprecedented level of collaboration between state, regional, and local government and the public and private sector speaks to the community’s commitment to make South Carolina a leader in the emerging hydrogen and fuel cell economy,” stated Bill Mahoney, CEO of SCRA. “This partnership gives us an opportunity to help launch the first fuel-cell related manufacturing facility in the state.”

Trulite, Inc. selected South Carolina after attending the National Hydrogen Association’s Military Uses of Hydrogen Forum in Columbia in October 2007. 

Ron Seftick, President of Trulite, stated that “This Memorandum of Understanding exemplifies South Carolina’s confidence in our ability to commercialize our technology.  This support and facility will provide Trulite the ability to accommodate our growing list of Fortune partners and clients who are interested in our renewable energy technology platform.” 

“This pilot facility will be the first stage of what we hope will be a long-term strategic relationship with Trulite,” stated Bob Coble, Mayor of the City of Columbia, and co-chair of EngenuitySC, the region’s public/private knowledge economy leadership organization.  The pilot facility will also leverage Midlands Technical College’s next generation fuel cell technology program, which aims to address the workforce development issues facing today’s fuel cell companies.

Dr. Marshall (Sonny) White Jr., president of Midlands Technical College (MTC), said, “MTC understands the importance of alternate energy research and production to the economy of our region and to the future of the community.  The college is impressed with the work Trulite is doing, and believes that the company’s location in the MTC Business Accelerator will be a valuable addition to the college’s Enterprise Campus.”

In addition, Trulite plans to create a collaborative research and development partnership with the University of South Carolina that will lead to the development and commercialization of additional Trulite products.  This collaboration will leverage the university’s growing reputation as a thought leader in clean technology, hydrogen and fuel cells.  Trulite already has begun negotiations with USC Future Fuels™ and Innovista.

“The University has solid credentials in hydrogen fuel cell research and is committed to becoming stronger,” said Harris Pastides, president of the University of South Carolina. “Trulite will add to our critical mass of scientific talent and array of strong partnerships working to make South Carolina a center of excellence in hydrogen and fuel cell technology.”

About Trulite, Inc.
Trulite is engaged in developing and providing portable and semi-portable hybrid power generators, using integrated hydrogen fuel cells as the core technology, to markets that have applications for clean, reliable off-grid power. Trulite recently introduced its new
KH4 generator, which uses dry sodium borohydride cartridges as the fuel source and can provide 150 watts of continuous power and 250 watts of peak power. The KH4 has applications in telecommunication, electronics (back-up power), construction, security, remote monitoring, recreation and other markets. For more information, visit:

About the USC Columbia Fuel Cell Collaborative
The University of South Carolina – City of Columbia Fuel Cell Collaborative was formed by the University of South Carolina, the City of Columbia, EngenuitySC and the South Carolina Research Authority to position Columbia, SC as a leader in hydrogen fuel cell innovation and technology.  Its mission is to attract private sector partners, top fuel cell scientists, entrepreneurs and innovators to the Columbia region. For more information, visit:

About the University of South Carolina
The University of South Carolina is dedicated to building the knowledge economy in South Carolina by attracting the world’s top professors, scientists, students and entrepreneurs to Columbia, SC.  Through its new Innovation district called Innovista, the University is supporting research initiatives in nanotechnology, health sciences, Future Fuels™, the environment, and information and knowledge technologies.  For more information, visit:

About the City of Columbia
The City of Columbia is as rich in cultural heritage and history is it is with talent and opportunity.  The City of Columbia is dedicated to the advancement of the knowledge economy in the midlands region through its partnership in the USC Columbia Fuel Cell Collaborative, its award winning technology incubator, and its commitment to entrepreneurship and innovation.  The city fully supports the creation of the first integrated fuel cell district in the country and is committed to making Columbia a business friendly environment for innovative companies.  For more information, visit:

About EngenuitySC
EngenuitySC is an active public/private sector partnership focused on nurturing the growth of a knowledge-based economy in the Columbia, SC region.  Comprised of business and industry leaders, along with representatives from local government and academia, EngenuitySC strives to create a fertile business climate that encourages entrepreneurship and the commercialization of ideas and technology, harnesses the research breakthroughs of higher education institutions, establishes public policy that is sensitive to the unique needs of knowledge-based companies, and promotes access to start-up investment capital.  For more information, visit:

About SCRA
SCRA is a global leader in applied research and commercialization services with offices in Anderson, Charleston, and Columbia.  SCRA collaborates to advance technology with industry, government, and research universities like Clemson University, the U
niversity of South Carolina and the Medical University of South Carolina.  For more information, visit:

About SC Launch!
SC Launch!, an SCRA collaboration, assists entrepreneurial start-up companies with up-front counseling, seed-funding, and access to a powerful resource network.  The SC Launch! mission is to help generate knowledge economy jobs in South Carolina, enhance the state’s quality of life and provide opportunity for all South Carolinians in the new economy.  For more information, visit:

About Midlands Technical College
Midlands Technical College is a comprehensive two-year college serving more than 16,000 credit and 30,000 continuing education students annually.  The college has a 150-acre Enterprise Campus adjacent to the Carolina Research Park that houses the MTC Center of Excellence for Technology and the MTC Business Accelerator.  This campus, one of five operated by the college, places businesses and students in a close working relationship and completes the cycle of career education in support of economic development.  For more information visit