Department of Defense awards $1.36 million to develop carbonate hydrogen generating system

DANBURY, Conn., 7 July 2006. FuelCell Energy Inc., a manufacturer of ultra-clean electric power generation plants for commercial, industrial, and government customers, has developed a cost-efficient system to separate pure hydrogen from a gas mixture that can then be sold as fuel for hydrogen vehicles or industrial uses. The U.S. Department of Defense has awarded FuelCell Energy $1.36 million to advance this Electrochemical Hydrogen Separator project.

DANBURY, Conn., 7 July 2006. FuelCell Energy Inc., a manufacturer of ultra-clean electric power generation plants for commercial, industrial, and government customers, has developed a cost-efficient system to separate pure hydrogen from a gas mixture that can then be sold as fuel for hydrogen vehicles or industrial uses. The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded FuelCell Energy $1.36 Million to advance this Electrochemical Hydrogen Separator (EHS) project for use with the company's Direct FuelCell (DFC) power plants.

FuelCell Energy's proprietary EHS technology has no moving parts and is expected to save up to one-half of the energy required when compared to conventional compression based-methods of hydrogen separation.

A subscale prototype EHS unit developed by FuelCell Energy is operating at the University of Connecticut Global Fuel Cell Center. This test was made possible through a $600,000 grant provided by the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund under its operational demonstration program. The subscale EHS system currently produces 1200 liters per hour of pure hydrogen. With the DoD award, the unit will be scaled up by a factor of 25 and will operate in conjunction with a sub-megawatt DFC power plant in Danbury for testing.

FuelCell Energy's EHS system is the most promising way of meeting the targets set by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to lower the price of hydrogen to be competitive with the cost of gasoline. Currently hydrogen is three to four times as expensive to produce as gasoline according to the DOE's Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy statistics.

Whether it be used for generating hydrogen for an energy station or for an industrial customer, being able to produce hydrogen onsite through EHS would eliminate the complex issues involved with transporting and storing hydrogen.


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