Hydrogen Storage Collaboration Between Sigma-Aldrich and Ilika Technologies to Scale-up and Commercialize Boron Hydride Materials

June 7, 2011

ST. LOUIS, June 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ – Aldrich Materials Science, a strategic technology initiative of Sigma-Aldrich Corporation (NASDAQ: SIAL) today announced it has signed an agreement to collaborate on the scale-up and commercialization of next generation hydrogen-storage materials with Ilika plc (AIM:IKA), an advanced cleantech materials discovery company. Both companies believe this enterprise will become a vital component of the energy industry’s efforts to develop consumer-friendly hydrogen storage materials for fuel cell and clean combustion technology.

Hydrogen represents an attractive carrier of energy as its combustion or direct conversion to electricity via a fuel cell does not lead to the emission of carbon dioxide. In addition, hydrogen can be used as an alternative energy carrier to battery technology since the energy density of hydrogen can be substantially higher than that of batteries. The main criteria for hydrogen storage for transport purposes, as outlined by the US Freedom Car Initiative (http://www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/pdfs/freedomcar_plan.pdf), are to supply enough hydrogen to enable a driving range of approximately 500 km, to charge and recharge at near room temperature and to provide hydrogen at rates fast enough for vehicular operation – from cars to trains. Current prototype applications use very high pressure compressed hydrogen or cryogenically cooled liquid hydrogen. These methods consume a significant percentage of the energy content in their compression and conversion and both raise safety concerns. Ilika’s storage solution is a solid metal hydride, which exists as a powder stored in a cylinder at moderate pressure and stable at room temperature. When warmed to moderate temperatures, hydrogen is released for use as fuel.

To be economically viable, the target weight percentage of hydrogen stored in such a material has been set at 6% by the US Department of Energy. Current commercially available hydride materials can achieve up to 2.3 weight % of hydrogen. The hydride materials being verified and scaled-up by Aldrich Materials Science can potentially store up to 10 weight % of hydrogen, reversibly.

Commenting on the collaboration, Ilika’s CEO, Graeme Purdy, said: “This agreement is a great example of how Ilika, together with our partners, develops innovative materials that solve complex industrial challenges and shares in the commercial upside that these technological advances make possible. Sigma-Aldrich® is a world leader with renowned capability in the field of materials science. Through its Aldrich Materials Science initiative, Sigma-Aldrich possesses state-of-the-art integrated capabilities in hydrogen storage materials for fuel cell technology, including material development (mechanochemistry), manufacturing, application and evaluation, and have agreed to enter into a collaboration to scale-up Ilika’s metal-hydride materials. In particular, their mechanochemistry know-how and processing is a proven tool for the preparation of novel materials. We are very pleased to be working with them.”

R&D Manager for Aldrich Materials Science, Viktor Balema, added: “We have been very impressed by Ilika’s unique high-throughput discovery capabilities, which are very complementary to our scale-up facilities. The collaboration, done as part of our custom research services, creates the unique opportunity to rapidly move from discovery to first commercialization, with the potential of making innovative energy storage materials available to end users in a short period of time. Through collaborative custom research projects, we aim to enable materials innovation in the alternative energy, electronics and biomedical markets.”

For further information on Ilika, visit: http://ilika.com/

For further information on Aldrich Materials Science, visit: www.Sigma-Aldrich.com/matsci

Cautionary statement: The foregoing release contains forward-looking statements that can be identified by terminology such as “in the belief”, “will become”, “can potentially”, “plan to” or similar expressions, or by expressed or implied discussions regarding potential future revenues from products derived therefrom. You should not place undue reliance on these statements. There can be no guarantee that the collaboration described in this release will result in the development of any products or that such products, if introduced to the market meet the demands of the marketplace. Nor can there be any guarantee that any of these products will achieve any particular levels of revenue in the future. Such forward-looking statements reflect the current views of management regarding future events, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. In particular, management’s expectations regarding these products could be affected by, among other things, unexpected regulatory actions or delays or government regulation generally; the Company’s ability to obtain or maintain patent or other proprietary intellectual property protection; competition in general; government, industry and general public pricing pressures; the impact that the foregoing factors could have on the values attributed to the Company’s assets and liabilities as recorded in its consolidated balance sheet, and other risks and factors referred to in Sigma-Aldrich’s current Form 10-K on file with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those anticipated, believed, estimated or expected. Sigma-Aldrich is providing the information in this press release as of this date and does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this press release as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

About Sigma-Aldrich: Sigma-Aldrich is a leading Life Science and High Technology company committed to Enabling Science to Improve the Quality of Life. Its chemical and biochemical products and kits are used in scientific research, including genomic and proteomic research, biotechnology, pharmaceutical development and as key components in pharmaceutical, diagnostic and other high technology manufacturing. The Company has customers in life science companies, university and government institutions, hospitals, and in industry. Over one million scientists and technologists use its products. Sigma-Aldrich operates in 40 countries and has 8,000 employees providing excellent service worldwide. For more information about Sigma-Aldrich, please visit its award-winning Web site at http://www.Sigma-Aldrich.com.

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SOURCE Sigma-Aldrich Corporation

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