EMEX Corp. Completes Fuel-Processing System Designs

May 30, 2001 by Jeff Shepard

EMEX Corp. (New York, NY) Blue Star Sustainable Technologies division has completed engineering designs for a new fuel-processing system designed to provide hydrogen feed for fuel cell systems. Production of a prototype of this catalytic system, which is designed for a 5kW electrical fuel cell power system, has begun. The fuel-processing system will be a critical component of EMEX's plans to develop a line of fuel cells. EMEX plans to target its line at the residential market with a secondary emphasis on transportation applications.

Key to EMEX’s new fuel cell initiative is the company's Blue Star S-2, a diesel fuel unveiled earlier this year. EMEX has accepted a proposal for $100.0 million in financing syndication to build out a commercial unit that will produce the fuel, as well as other products, such as industrial waxes and electricity. The Blue Star fuel cell systems are being designed as energy-generating appliances for both grid-connected and off-grid applications. The units incorporate a catalytic design that combines a thermally integrated hydrogen generator with a subsequent gas cleanup unit to generate a hydrogen feed. The unit is designed for flexible fuel capacity, using natural gas and propane, as well as Blue Star S-2 fuel. EMEX maintains that the overall fuel processor, known as a “reformer,” will be both compact and safe, and will include features for rapid startup.

“Fuel cell systems are critically dependent upon fuel type, and natural-gas-based fuel, such as Blue Star S-2 diesel, is an enabling technology for fuel cell systems,” said Dr. Nicholas Vanderborgh, head of EMEX’s Blue Star efforts. “This new fuel cell processing hardware will give EMEX an unusually strong position, having expertise in both fuel supply and fuel utilization. Moreover, we have been successful transferring unique catalyst technology developed for our GTL program to this new fuel cell activity.”

EMEX Blue Star is refining its engineering designs and processes while applying for patents. The company expects to have fully functional prototypes completed by the fall of 2001.