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Phosphoric Acid Fuel Cell Market Size, Share & Industry Analysis, By Application (Vehicles, Cogeneration, Others), and Regional Forecast, 2019-2032

Last Updated: June 10, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI102180



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The global phosphoric acid fuel cell market size was valued at USD 0.28 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach USD 3.12 billion by 2032, exhibiting a CAGR of 18.84% during the forecast period of 2019-2032.

Increasing measures to limit the global carbon emissions to combat climate change along with a paradigm shift towards clean energy sources will stimulate the phosphoric acid fuel cell market demand. Various emerging economies have introduced different low carbon power generation targets to serve the rapid and ever-increasing energy demand. Fuel cell transforms hydrogen or other fuels to produce clean power for several applications without producing harmful byproducts. Phosphoric Acid Fuel Cells (PAFCs), just like other such devices, include a cathode and an anode that are used to generate electricity by introducing fuel and oxygen to the system.

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PAFC technology has a long-standing presence in the fuel cell industry and was first introduced to deliver independent grid electricity to users across the globe. Japan is estimated to be the leading country in the deployment of different types of fuel cells owing to the government's goals to transform the energy mix to low carbon technology. Several companies have provided the country with FC systems operating on PAFC technology to generate heat and power with different renewable fuels.


“Growing Concern To Maintain Energy Security to Propel the Market

Frequent occurrence of unexpected natural calamities along with rising measures to counter energy issues incurred by these disasters is set to propel the adoption of the PAFC technology. The devices are readily installed for stationary purposes owing to their easy handling of poisonous gases like carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, which will augment the phosphoric acid fuel cell market growth. Furthermore, PAFC systems generally operate at a higher temperature of about 220° C that enables them to handle up to 1% CO to deliver high output ratings ranging from few kWs to MWs.

 “Increasing Deployment Of Combined Heat And Power Systems to Boost the Market Outlook”

Phosphoric acid fuel cells are widely installed in various commercial establishments such as hospitals, buildings, hotels, and electric utilities to deliver cogeneration solutions, making it one of the leading phosphoric acid fuel cell market trends. The devices offer small and large scale combined heat and power (CHP) capacities to provide uninterrupted power and fulfill extra energy requirements. It produces waste heat with elevated temperatures that are efficiently incorporated in CHP systems for providing space heating, water heating, and low-pressure steam.


By Application Analysis

“Cogeneration Application to Account For the Major Share”

Based on application, the phosphoric acid fuel cell market can be trifurcated into vehicles, cogeneration, and others. Cogeneration or Combined Heat and Power (CHP) is the most established installation location for PAFC systems owing to high thermal and electric efficiency. The segment is also projected to lead the industry in terms of market size as well as volume during the forecast timeline. Various regional governments have implemented advantageous programs to support the deployment of CHP systems. For instance, Japan had introduced Ene-Farm systems to install micro-CHP or m-CHP units in the country. The government targets to create a self-sustaining market for the technology and circulate about 5.3 million units of such systems by 2030.

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The vehicle segment is also projected to observe considerable growth over the forecast period, as per the phosphoric acid fuel cell market analysis. Owing to the availability in bulk capacities with substantial electrical efficiency, PAFC technology found its initial applications in heavy-duty automobiles, including buses and trucks. Additionally, other applications for the technology include large stationary Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) units along with several bulk-sized Auxiliary Power Units (APUs) for large vehicles.


Geographically, the fuel cell market has been analyzed across six major countries, which are the U.S., Japan, South Korea, Germany, the UK, and the Rest of the World. Japan is anticipated to lead the phosphoric acid fuel cell market share and observe substantial growth owing to favorable government policies, along with extensive long-term targets. Additionally, the presence of established manufacturers, along with significantly rising investment from several players, is set to further propel the product demand in the country. Furthermore, South Korea is projected to observe extensive growth due to new technological outlook implemented by the national administration. The country is rapidly investing huge capital in developing and enhancing hydrogen infrastructure to support the expanding H2 based technology adoption.

Additionally, increasing allocation of budget for expanding hydrogen-based infrastructure along with a rising focus to conduct advanced research & development activities will boost the U.S. industry trend. In the fiscal year (FY) 2019, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) announced that the total funding for the hydrogen and fuel cell technologies the same FY stood at about USD 120,000 for different purposes. Out of this budget, 75% of the grant was allocated for R&D of fuel cell technologies coupled with hydrogen fuel & infrastructure.

Several encouraging standards and projects are expected to propel the adoption of FC systems in the European Union countries. The Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU), a collaboration between private and government establishments, has rolled out several guidelines to promote the demonstration and development of fuel cell technologies in the region. In 2016, the FCH JU launched a new project known as Pathway to a Competitive European FC mCHP market (PACE) with an intention to install 2,800 units of innovative FC m-CHP systems across ten countries in the region by 2021. Different nations such as France, UK, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, and many others are part of this program. Additionally, numerous countries are also focusing on introducing other frameworks to explore new horizons in the deployment of these efficient and clean energy sources. In November 2019, the Transport and Infrastructure Ministry (BMVI) of Germany announced aid to the Clean Power Net (CPN) association of five million euros. The fund will be utilized to install FC systems in radio towers by replacing existing diesel generators used for backup power for emergency conditions.


Prominent Industry Players Producing PAFCs Over Long Time to Shape the Market Trends

Key market players are actively operating with a long-standing presence in various countries across the globe. Companies are focused on delivering innovative products with extended operational life along with minimal maintenance needs. Furthermore, multiple players intend to expand their product spectrum to enable them to be integrated into a new range of applications, according to the phosphoric acid fuel cell market forecast



An Infographic Representation of Phosphoric Acid Fuel Cell Market

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A fuel cell device is integrated to produce electric energy from chemical energy by introducing fuel to oxygen over the electrodes. Hydrogen is introduced as the primary fuel that is broken down into protons and electrons on the positively charged electrode called anode, whereas the oxygen is present at the cathode. PAFC includes porous silicon carbide and carbon structure, which grips pure phosphoric acid electrolyte along with excellently distributed platinum (Pt) catalyst. The presence of the acid in the system leads to efficient water management in the FC stack as it aids in reducing the produced water pressure. These devices tend to have substantial toleration towards polluting gases in the fuel like CO and CO2 owing their operation ability at high temperatures. However, sulfur compounds such as hydrogen sulfide (H2S) are known to degrade the systems, although the tolerance level of PAFCs is higher than other FC technologies such as Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs).

The phosphoric acid fuel cell market report provides detailed information regarding various insights into the market. Some of them are growth drivers, restraints, competitive landscape, regional analysis, and challenges. It further offers an analytical depiction of the PAFC market trends and estimations to illustrate the forthcoming investment pockets. The market is quantitatively analyzed from 2019 to 2026 to provide its financial competency. The information gathered in the report has been taken from several primary and secondary sources.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



  Value (USD Billion) and Volume (MW)


By Application

  • Vehicles

  • Cogeneration

  • Others

By Country

  • U.S.

  • Japan

  • South Korea

  • Germany

  • UK

  • Rest of the World


  • In August 2019, Hanwa Energy, Korea East-West Power, and Doosan created a joint venture company Daesan Green Energy for operating the Daesan Hydrogen Fuel Cell Power Plant. The Seosan Hanwa location in the power plant extent is planned to install a total phosphoric acid fuel cell capacity of 440 kWh while the total size of the plant is over 50 MW.

  • In July 2019, Siemens placed an order for hydrogen-fueled combined heat and power (CHP) systems from Germany-based 2G Energy AG. The new unit is set to be installed in a section of its pilot project in Dubai to supply decentralized energy and expand the technological landscape.

  • In August 2019, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) cooperated with six other participants operating in five different nations and initiated an R&D project named D2Service. The project goals to streamline the maintenance and installation of CHP systems powered by fuel cells. Furthermore, the venture missions to effectively integrate interfaces and components of various products into each other to perform maintenance with fewer efforts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the market value stood at USD 0.28 billion in 2018.

The market is projected to reach USD 1.12 billion by 2026.

Japan phosphoric acid fuel cell market value was at USD 0.21 billion in 2018.

Cogeneration application is projected to be the leading segment in the phosphoric acid fuel cell market during the forecast period.

Increasing the installation of combined heat & power (CHP) systems and rising concerns to maintain energy security are set to be the key market drivers. However, the availability of other advanced alternatives, along with high initial investment, may obstruct market growth.

Fuji Electric Co., LTD. and Doosan Fuel Cell America, Inc. among others, are the key players operating in this market.

Administrations in various countries have introduced favorable policies to promote and install hydrogen and other clean fuel alternatives. Additionally, dedicated projects are implemented to deploy fuel cell-based combined heat and power (CHP) or cogeneration systems to cut the overall carbon emission in the country. Thus, rising awareness among the customers, coupled with high government targets, will propel the adoption of phosphoric acid fuel cells.

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