Awarded U.S. Navy Contract for Shipboard Logistics Fuel Reforming Catalyst Development
NORTH HAVEN, CT -- (November 10, 2006) -- Precision Combustion, Inc. (PCI) announced today that it has received a contract to develop Microlith® catalytic reforming technology for naval fuel cell power generation applications. This research effort funded by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) is focused on fuel reformer mixer characterization and catalyst support performance analysis for a 150 kWt sub-scale demonstration of PCI's fuel reforming and fuel processing technologies in an integrated fuel processor for shipboard fuel cell power applications.
Fuel cell power generation has several attractive features for naval applications. There is the potential of substantial cost savings over traditional gas turbine or diesel reciprocating engine solutions. This is due to the higher fuel efficiency of fuel cell systems leading to reduced logistics requirements and to reduced maintenance from fewer moving parts. There is also a military advantage of reduced acoustic and infrared signatures and reduced radar cross section, as well as improved modularity. Another attractive feature is the near elimination of exhaust emissions of NOx, CO and unburned hydrocarbons. To achieve these benefits of fuel cell power generation in marine applications, it is necessary to reform naval logistics fuels into hydrogen-rich syngas required for fuel cells.
Reformation of military logistics fuels for fuel cells poses significant challenge due to the propensity to form coke and to catalyst deactivation from sulfur in the fuel. During two recent Army SBIR Phase II programs, PCI developed and demonstrated a compact, fast-transient response logistics-fuel reforming reactor which reformed JP-8 and diesel fuels into hydrogen-rich syngas without coking at the 2 and 5 kW scales. Extending the technology into the Navy application, initially for 150 kWt, PCI will optimize its fuel reforming and fuel processing technologies for the size, weight and performance needed to enable shipboard fuel cell systems in a second generation design incorporating advanced SBIR technologies and configured for spiral technology deployment. The targeted application is for PEM fuel cell systems but could be readily configured for other applications such as solid oxide and molten carbonate fuel cell systems.
Kevin Burns, PCI's President stated, "This program will allow us to continue development for the marine market for our Microlithcatalyst based fuel reforming and fuel processing technologies. Our ability to catalytically reform diesel-type liquid fuels and our reactors’ competitively small size, low weight, fast transient response and high efficiency are potentially enabling for this naval application. This Navy award is yet another validation of the opportunity our fuel reforming and fuel processing technologies offers for both commercial and military fuel cell system manufacturers."
Anthony Nickens, ONR Program Officer commented "the PCI technology has the potential to significantly decrease the size of the logistics fuel reforming and processing systems. We look forward to evaluating their very compact 150 kWt design later this fiscal year."
Precision Combustion, Inc. (www.precision-combustion.com) is a clean energy technology company developing and manufacturing a range of catalytic devices and systems for energy sector applications. PCI products include RCL® ultra-low NOx catalytic combustors for gas turbines, high heat rate downhole steam generators for heavy oil production, and Microlithcompact, high efficiency catalytic reactors and systems for fuel processors, fuel cell systems, compact burners, IC engine emissions aftertreatment, chemical reactors, adsorption-based air cleaning and other applications. Customers of PCI include gas turbine, aerospace system, engine and fuel cell system manufacturers as well as the U.S. government.
For more information, contact: Tony Anderson
Manager, Marketing and Business Development