U.S. moves forward with hydrogen fuel researchApril 16, 2011
FuelCell Energy, a leading developer and manufacturer of stationary hydrogen fuel cell units, has been awarded a research contract from the U.S. Department of Energy. The company will be conducting research on the effectiveness of technologies used to separate carbon-dioxide emissions from industrial facilities, such as refineries. Research will also cover methods of biogas de-sulfurization. The contract totals $1.7 million, which will be used to fund research efforts.
The target of this research will be centered on the company’s Direct FuelCells, which use hydrogen gas to produce electricity. Hydrogen is one of the few alternative fuels that have shown enough promise to warrant backing from the federal government. Despite budget cuts earlier this year regarding the development of fuel cell technology, the Department of Energy is still in pursuit of the perfect hydrogen fuel system.
Hydrogen, however, has been the subject of much scrutiny. The gas is notoriously unstable and difficult to manage, leaving many with the opinion that it is more trouble than it is worth. Advances in technology can’t seem to come fast enough, as fuel cell units are still considered to be one of the most expensive solutions to the world’s growing energy problem.
FuelCell Energy hopes to change this, as their research will find new ways of producing better quality hydrogen. Additionally, research into carbon capture will go a
long way in mitigating the environmental impact industrial facilities have.