IdaTech Develops Hydrocarbon Fuel Cell System

May 15, 2003 by Jeff Shepard

IdaTech Corp. (Bend, OR) announced development of a prototype fuel cell system capable of operating on liquid hydrocarbon fuels. The system, which will be available to select development partners, is capable of operating on low-sulfur fuels such as diesel, kerosene, bio-diesel, gas-to-liquids and Fischer-Tropsch.

IdaTech has adapted its FCS 1200™ fuel cell system platform to operate on a variety of different fuels. The systems incorporate IdaTech's patented fuel processor that produces hydrogen at purity levels exceeding 99.95%, a Ballard Nexa™ fuel cell module and the electronics systems required to integrate the technologies. The prototype diesel system is similar in size with the exception of an additional water tank. Actual dimensions are 34in x 34in x 25in (86cm x 86cm x 64cm), making it comparable in size to a small generator.

"The fuel cell industry has struggled with reforming liquid fuels, especially diesel, into high-purity hydrogen and this achievement further positions IdaTech as a leader in fuel processing," said IdaTech President and Chief Executive Officer Claude Duss. "Not only are we able to successfully reform a variety of gaseous and liquid hydrocarbon fuels but we have incorporated this technology into a fully integrated, compact and operational prototype fuel cell system to further demonstrate our capabilities and the potential of fuel cells."