Two Subcontracts for Renewable Biogas Processing Under U.S. Department of Energy Program
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Award to Research Carbon Capture
DANBURY, Conn., April 12, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- FuelCell Energy, Inc. (Nasdaq:FCEL), a leading manufacturer of ultra-clean, efficient and reliable power plants using renewable and other fuels for commercial, industrial, government, and utility customers, today announced two subcontract awards totaling $1.7 million to demonstrate advanced biogas de-sulfurization technology and a contract to evaluate the effectiveness of Direct FuelCells® (DFC®) to efficiently separate carbon dioxide (CO2) from the emissions of industrial operations such as refineries, cement kilns and pulp and paper mills.
Direct FuelCells can utilize renewable biogas as a fuel to efficiently generate ultra-clean electricity. Biogas is a waste product generated by industrial processes such as food processing, agriculture and wastewater treatment and contains a high level of sulfur that must be removed prior to being used as a fuel. The demonstration sorbent has an expected lifespan that is up to 30 times longer than the technology currently in use, so may represent a significant cost reduction in biogas clean-up costs. The biogas demonstration projects will determine the market feasibility of a high capacity, expendable sorbent for efficiently removing sulfur from renewable biogas that if successful, could reduce the costs of fuel cells operating on biogas. FuelCell Energy currently has 20 megawatts of DFC biogas power plants, installed and in backlog.
TDA Research, Inc., the prime contractor under this U.S. Department of Energy program, developed the sorbents for the projects which will be demonstrated at a wastewater treatment facility and a family-owned dairy farm, both located in California. The demonstration projects are expected to last 18 months. Founded in 1987, TDA Research is located in Wheat Ridge and Golden, CO.
"Renewable baseload power from fuel cells operating on biogas is a powerful value proposition that FuelCell Energy offers to the market," said Chris Bentley, Executive Vice President, Government R&D Operations, Strategic Manufacturing Development, FuelCell Energy, Inc. "Reducing biogas clean-up costs further enhances the value proposition for converting biogas waste disposal problems into ultra-clean electricity."
Direct FuelCells combine fuel with oxygen from the ambient air to efficiently produce electricity and heat using an electrochemical process, without combustion. The award from the EPA will fund initial testing of the ability for Direct FuelCells to consume flue gas instead of ambient air for the power generation process and their capability to cost effectively separate the CO2 within the flue gas. Some types of industrial operations, such as refineries and paper mills, generate flue gas, a waste product that contains CO2. Efficiently and effectively separating the CO2 enables sequestration, preventing the release of this greenhouse gas into the atmosphere.
"Our Direct FuelCell technology is very versatile, providing multiple value streams including ultra-clean power, high quality heat and hydrogen suitable for vehicle transportation or industrial uses," continued Mr. Bentley. "This contract from the US Environmental Protection Agency enables us to research the possibility of yet another value stream, which is the efficient and cost effective capture of carbon using our existing technology. Carbon capture is an important area of focus for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and our team is excited to be undertaking this leading edge research."
The research under this initial $0.1 million Phase I award is expected to take up to six months. Successful results may lead to a demonstration project at an industrial site using a DFC power plant to provide ultra-clean electricity and usable heat to the industrial operation while separating CO2 from the flue gas for sequestration. Capturing CO2 for sequestration is a potentially large global market.
About FuelCell Energy
DFC® fuel cells are generating power at over 50 locations worldwide. The Company's power plants have generated over 700 million kWh of power using a variety of fuels including renewable wastewater gas, biogas from beer and food processing, as well as natural gas and other hydrocarbon fuels. FuelCell Energy has partnerships with major power plant developers and power companies around the world. The Company also receives funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and other government agencies for the development of leading edge technologies such as fuel cells. For more information please visit our website at
This news release contains forward-looking statements, including statements regarding the Company's plans and expectations regarding the continuing development, commercialization and financing of its fuel cell technology and business plans. All forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Factors that could cause such a difference include, without limitation, general risks associated with product development, manufacturing, changes in the regulatory environment, customer strategies, potential volatility of energy prices, rapid technological change, competition, and the Company's ability to achieve its sales plans and cost reduction targets, as well as other risks set forth in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements contained herein speak only as of the date of this press release. The Company expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any such statement to reflect any change in the Company's expectations or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.
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CONTACT: FuelCell Energy, Inc. Kurt Goddard, Vice President Investor Relations 203-830-7494 firstname.lastname@example.org