PCI Awarded U.S. Navy SBIR Phase I Contract for Logistics Fuel Steam Reforming
NORTH HAVEN, CT -- (May 11, 2006) -- Precision Combustion, Inc. (PCI) announced today it has received a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I contract from the U.S. Navy Sea Systems Command to develop a novel ultra-compact, high efficiency catalytic steam reforming process for fuel cell systems, capable of utilizing Navy logistic fuels. The steam reformer will be based upon PCI's patented and trademarked Microlithtechnology. This technology will be modeled and developed in the Phase I program for application in a prototype fuel processing system to be developed in a follow-on program.
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 such as NATO F-76 into the hydrogen-rich syngas required for fuel cells.
The proposed technology targets hydrogen generation from navy distillates via steam reforming, utilizing an ultra-compact, high efficiency Microlith® catalytic reactor technology. The steam reforming innovation is targeted for application in future Navy ships utilizing fuel cells for power generation. There is the potential for a commercial spin-out into the much larger future market of hydrogen production. Microlithreactors have already been demonstrated for use in catalytic partial oxidation (CPOX) and autothermal reforming (ATR) reactors, and are being developed for JP-8 and diesel fuel reforming in other DOD funded SBIR programs.
Kevin Burns, PCI's President commented, "This program will allow us to continue developing our breakthrough Microlithfuel reforming and fuel processing technologies for the marine market. Our ability to catalytically reform logistics fuels and our reactors’ competitively small size, low weight, fast transient response and high efficiency all provide desired benefits for shipboard and other mobile applications. This program will help us examine the innovations Microlith® catalytic reactors may permit in steam reforming and enable an alternative fuel processing solution with improved fuel cell system power densities and simplicity."
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