QuestAir, FuelCell Energy to pursue added uses of hydrogen purification technology
QuestAir Technologies, a Burnaby, BC-based developer and supplier of advanced gas purification systems for refinery, industrial and fuel cell markets, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with FuelCell Energy to evaluate the use of QuestAir's hydrogen purification technology to produce pure hydrogen from the exhaust of FuelCell Energy's Direct FuelCell(r) (DFC(r)) power plants.
FuelCell Energy, based in Danbury, Connecticut, develops and manufactures high-temperature fuel cells for clean electric power generation. The company has installed large stationary fuel cell power plants at more than 36 commercial and industrial sites around the world.
QuestAir and FuelCell Energy will complete a preliminary design and economic analysis of a system using QuestAir's commercial hydrogen purification products to produce pure hydrogen from the anode exhaust of a one-megawatt DFC power plant. These power plants, equipped with this "hydrogen export" system, could be used by FuelCell Energy's customers to produce pure hydrogen for industrial uses or to fuel fleets of fuel cell vehicles, in addition to generating electrical power and heat. Under the terms of the MOU, QuestAir and FuelCell Energy will co-operate to secure funded demonstrations of this hydrogen export system.
The companies will also undertake a technical and economic assessment of the use of QuestAir's advanced gas purification technology to recover and recycle hydrogen within the Direct FuelCell power plant. Such a "hydrogen recycle" system has the potential to increase the electrical efficiency of the Direct FuelCell power plants, which would reduce the net cost of electrical power produced by the fuel cell.
"QuestAir's advanced hydrogen purification technology has the potential to add significant value to FuelCell Energy's plants by producing a purified hydrogen byproduct, and by increasing the overall efficiency of the fuel cell power plant," said QuestAir president and CEO Jonathan Wilkinson.
Dr Hansraj Maru, FuelCell Energy's chief technology officer, noted that "the trigeneration of hydrogen as well as electricity and heat by our DFC power plants further enhances the value proposition for many of our targeted customer segments."
Each company will cover its own expenses for work done under the MOU, which is expected to be complete by the fourth quarter of 2005. At that time QuestAir and FuelCell Energy will decide whether to proceed with further product development and testing.