VIASPACE Press Release
US DOT Rule Allows Passengers to Carry Methanol Fuel Cells and Cartridges Onboard Aircraft
PASADENA, CA -May 6, 2008-- VIASPACE Inc. (OTCBB: VSPC) announced that a key US federal regulatory ruling now fully enables the business strategy for its Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Corporation (DMFCC) subsidiary. On April 30, 2008, the Federal Register published the final rule from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), US Department of Transportation. PHMSA is amending the Hazardous Materials Regulations to permit certain fuel cell cartridges and fuel cell systems designed for portable electronic devices to be transported by passengers and crew in carry-on baggage on board passenger-carrying aircraft. Methanol fuel cells and cartridges are explicitly approved. DMFCC is an active member of the US and international committees that developed the safety standards that led to this approval, and is a member of the US Fuel Cell Council which played a pivotal role in adoption of this rule in the US.
Fuel cell cartridges and fuel cell systems are an emerging energy technology developed to provide a more efficient, longer-lasting and renewable power source for electrically operated equipment. This final rule prescribes regulations for transporting fuel cells containing liquids, including methanol and formic acid, which meet certain performance and consumer use standards. PHMSA issued this final rule in cooperation with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The effective date of these amendments is October 1, 2008, and voluntary compliance is authorized as of May 30, 2008.
Micro fuel cells are expected to power portable electronic devices such as notebook computers and mobile phones. Disposable fuel cartridges provide the fuel for these fuel cells which could power a notebook computer for up to 10 hours, and a mobile phone for up to three weeks. DMFCC is a leader in the liquid fuel cell cartridge design, manufacturing and distribution business. The fuel cartridges are disposable like AA batteries and represent a recurring revenue stream for DMFCC. In contrast to batteries, cartridges are made of recyclable materials.
VIASPACE and DMFCC CEO, Dr. Carl Kukkonen, states, "Major electronics OEMs are pursuing methanol fuel cells for their electronic devices, and fuel cell powered notebook computers have been demonstrated by companies such as Samsung and Toshiba. These companies are developing their own fuel cells. DMFCC has developed the disposable fuel cartridges that consumers would purchase in the aftermarket to power these devices. This ruling by the Department of Transportation now allows passengers to bring fuel cell powered electronic devices and spare fuel cell cartridges on board commercial aircraft in their hand checked baggage."
In a separate press release, VIASPACE recently announced the successful collaboration of DMFCC and its manufacturing partner, the SATO Group, in delivering sample methanol fuel cell cartridges and valves to Samsung SDI. DMFCC used its expertise in cartridge design and safety qualification, and the SATO Group manufactured the cartridges and valves that were successfully integrated with Samsung SDI fuel cells in a portable electronics application.
DMFCC and SATO Group are positioning themselves to capture a significant portion of the estimated multibillion-dollar fuel cell cartridge market that has now been approved by this final rule from Department of Transportation.
About VIASPACE: Originally founded in 1998 with the objective of transforming proven space and defense technologies from NASA and the Department of Defense into hardware and software solutions that solve today's complex problems, VIASPACE benefits from important patent and software licenses from Caltech, which manages NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. For more information, please visit our website at www.VIASPACE.com, or contact for Investor Relations, Dr. Jan Vandersande, Director of Communications at 800-517-8050, or IR@VIASPACE.com.
Press contact: Carl Kukkonen 626-768-3360-----------------------------
This news release includes forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements relate to future events or our future performance and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Such factors include the risks outlined in our periodic filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including our Annual Report on Form 10-KSB, for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2007, as well as general economic and business conditions, the ability to acquire and develop specific projects and technologies, the ability to fund operations, changes in consumer and business consumption habits, and other factors over which VIASPACE has little or no control.