Epyx Powers Fuel Cell With Synthetic Fuel

August 17, 1999 by Jeff Shepard

Epyx Corp. (Cambridge, MA) announced that it has successfully demonstrated high-efficiency and low-emission operation of a fuel cell power system using Syntroleum Corp. (Tulsa, Oklahoma) synthetic fuel and a Plug Power (Latham, NY) fuel cell stack. Epyx and Plug Power previously tested gasoline, ethanol, methanol and natural gas using an integrated system comprised of an Epyx multi-fuel processor and a Plug Power fuel cell stack. According to Epyx, synthetic fuel testing showed results consistent with operation on gasoline. Due to their production method, however, synthetic fuels contain no fuel cell catalyst poisons such as sulfurs, metals or aromatics. Like gasoline, Syntroleum fuels can be distributed through the world's existing service stations without modification."Although our fuel processor can operate on conventional gasoline, the Syntroleum gas-to-liquids fuel would allow Epyx to design a much more compact fuel processor," stated Epyx COO Jeffrey Bentley. "Now that we have demonstrated functionality, we are continuing to work on making more compact, lower cost technology. Since synthetic fuels do not contain sulfur, we could remove the sulfur cleanup step from our process which translates to lower volume, mass and cost."Syntroleum President and COO Mark Agee commented, "Development of fuels that are power technology neutral and able to use existing fuel distribution infrastructure with minimal investment is critical to the successful commercialization and application of fuel cells in future vehicles. Synthetic liquid hydrocarbon fuels made with the Syntroleum Process fit these criteria."