Michelin Installs Fuel Cell in German Tire Plant

February 11, 2003 by Jeff Shepard

Michelin Group (UK) announced that it has installed a 250kW molten-carbonate fuel cell at its tire plant in Karlsruhe, Germany. The Euro 3.6 million (US$3.9 million) project is being supported by Energie Baden-Wurttemberg (EnBW), the local energy supplier Stadtwerke Karlsruhe and DaimlerChrysler Corp.’s subsidiary MTU Friedrichshafen. After a test run for about two years, MTU reportedly will consider mass producing the fuel cell beginning in 2006.

Apart from producing electric energy, the fuel cell also produces 200°C of hot steam, which is uses in the tire galvanization process. One of the major reasons for installing this unit was, apart from pollution-free electricity, the cost factor; the fuel cell uses much less natural gas than a conventional energy power plant.