PCI Wins U.S. Navy Contract for Shipboard Logistics Fuel Reforming

NORTH HAVEN, CT -- (April 25, 2006) -- Precision Combustion, Inc. (PCI) announced today that it has won a Navy Small Business Innovation Research Phase II contract to develop its Microlithreforming technology for naval fuel cell power generation applications.  This effort, jointly managed by NAVSEA and the Office of Naval Research (ONR), is focused on developing a fractionated NATO F-76 autothermal reformer (ATR) and a water gas shift reactor at the 50 kW size for a sub-scale demonstration of PCI's fuel reforming and fuel processing technologies 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 systemsleading 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.

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 I programs (now both in Phase II), 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 NAVSEA SBIR Phase II program,  PCI will design, fabricate and deliver a prototype fractionated NATO F-76 ATR with an overall reforming efficiency of ~ 70% (on a LHV basis) and power density of ~50 kW/L and a prototype water gas shift reactor with a power density of ~ 25 kW/L.  The targeted application is for PEM fuel cell systems but could be readily scaled and configured for other applications such as solid oxide and molten carbonate fuel cell systems.

Kevin Burns, PCI's President commented, "This program will allow us to open a new marine market for our breakthrough Microlithfuel 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 all provide good value to the customer.  Our team has done a great job here, and the Navy award is yet another validation of the opportunity our reformer technology offers for both commercial and military product manufacturers. This has opened up opportunities with an increasing number of customers as fuel cell system integrators begin to realize the beneficial impacts our unique technology offers for their systems."

Precision Combustion, Inc. (www.precision-combustion.com)is a clean energy technology company developing a range of catalytic devices and systems for clean and efficient combustion, pollution control and the chemical process industry. PCI currently focuses on RCL® catalytic combustors for gas turbines and for downhole steam generation, and Microlithfast response catalytic reactors for fuel processors, fuel cell systems,compact burners, IC engine emissions aftertreatment, chemical reactors, and other applications. Customers of PCI include gas turbine, aerospace system, IC engine, fuel cell system, and fuel reformer manufacturers as well as the U.S. government.

CONTACT: Precision Combustion, Inc.

For more information, contact: Tony Anderson
Manager, Marketing and Business Development
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