FuelCell Energy, a manufacturer of stationary fuel cell power plants, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Air Products, a global supplier of hydrogen to refineries, to establish a market for Direct FuelCell (DFC) tri-generation, stationary power plants.
Target markets for the Direct FuelCell facilities include industrial hydrogen consumers and vehicle fueling applications. These tri-generation stationary fuel cell power facilities generate hydrogen, clean energy and high quality heat for consumption.
Air Products’ Global Director of Hydrogen Energy Systems, Ed Kiczek stated that the use of hydrogen as an alternative transportation fuel can decrease a country's reliance on imported oil, and can considerably minimize greenhouse gas emissions. He also added that the stationary fuel cell power plants have remarkable market potential through distributed or on-site production of hydrogen in an efficient and economical manner. Local or on-site production of electricity and hydrogen prevents the delivery costs and also enhances reliability and security of supply.
Chip Bottone, President and CEO of FuelCell Energy, remarked that by integrating their advanced fuel cell technology with Air Products’ hydrogen processing and marketing capabilities, both the companies can together create an effective hydrogen infrastructure. Distributed production can enable the development of a hydrogen infrastructure by generating hydrogen in locations convenient for end applications such as industrial use or vehicle fueling stations. The high quality heat and ultra-clean electricity produced by the DFC plants can be used by fueling operations or nearby facilities.
FuelCell Energy and Air Products have already collaborated together for a hydrogen production development in California, which commenced in 2011. FuelCell Energy currently operates a DFC power plant located in a wastewater treatment facility at Orange County Sanitation District. The plant converts biogas that is produced by the wastewater treatment facility into renewable hydrogen, which is used by a nearby fueling station, operated by Air Products.