Millennium Cell Announces Letter of Intent With U.S. Borax

Millennium Cell and Borax are discussing the possibility of entering into a joint research agreement aimed at developing the process for converting sodium borates to sodium borohydride.

Published: 15-Mar-2001

EATONTOWN, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 14, 2001--Millennium Cell Inc. (NASDAQ: MCEL) announced today that a non-binding letter of intent has been signed with U.S. Borax, Inc.

Borax is the world's leading supplier of borates, a key component in the manufacture of sodium borohydride - the chemical backbone of Millennium Cell's Hydrogen on Demand(TM) process, which generates hydrogen from sodium borohydride.

Millennium Cell and Borax are discussing the possibility of entering into a joint research agreement aimed at developing the process for converting sodium borates to sodium borohydride.

"Borax is the world's leading authority on borate chemistry and its experts have considerable technical knowledge on borates, boron hydrides and inorganic chemistry," said Curt Cornell, Millennium Cell Vice-President, Business Development/Supply Chain. "Their knowledge and experience complements the work we're doing at Millennium Cell to commercialize our hydrogen generation technology. We are eager to define ways for us to work together to create a new process for the supply of sodium borohydride."

"Millennium Cell has come up with a very exciting endeavor that could help conserve the world's natural resources and provide an environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuels," said Dr. Paul J. Zerella, U.S. Borax Chief Technology Officer. "We look forward to working with them to determine a chemical pathway for the manufacture of sodium borohydride for use in fuel cells."

Borax is a division of London-based Rio Tinto, the world's largest mining concern. Borax ships approximately one million tons of refined borates from its mining and refining operation in Boron, California, each year. The company maintains shipping, refining and storage facilities around the world to ensure a consistent supply to its customers in nearly 100 countries.

Borates are key ingredients in many industrial processes including the manufacture of glass, ceramics, fiberglass insulation, detergents, fertilizers and wood preservatives. Thousands of household products - from barbecue charcoal to contact lens solution and from brake fluid to kitchenware - also contain borates.

Millennium Cell has invented, patented and developed a proprietary process called Hydrogen on Demand(TM) that safely generates pure hydrogen or electricity from environmentally friendly raw materials. In the process, the energy potential of hydrogen is carried in the chemical bonds of sodium borohydride, which in the presence of a catalyst releases hydrogen or produces electricity. The primary input components of the reaction are water and sodium borohydride, a derivative of borax, which is found in substantial natural reserves globally. Hydrogen from this system can be used to power fuel cells, as well as fed directly to internal combustion engines. Millennium Cell also has a patented design for boron-based longer-life batteries.

Founded in 1998, Millennium Cell is based in Eatontown, NJ and is focused on developing new, clean and abundant energy sources. The company is traded on NASDAQ under the symbol MCEL. For more information on Millennium Cell, visit www.millenniumcell.com or call 732-542-4000.

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