FuelCell Energy begins Phase 2 of carbon capture research

FuelCell Energy Inc. (Nasdaq: FCEL) said that it is entering Phase II of the carbon capture development project under an award from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy's Carbon Capture Program implemented by the National Energy Technology Laboratory. FuelCell Energy will continue research that evaluates the use of Direct FuelCells (DFC) to separate carbon dioxide (CO2) from the emissions of coal fired power plants.

The research project began in 2011 and is expected to last 3-1/2 years. Research includes system design, cost analysis and long-term testing of a DFC stack, with funding occurring in stages upon reaching certain milestones. Approximately $800,000 from the total $3 million DOE award was authorized to continue the development of the carbon capture system.

FuelCell Energy's DFC technology separates and concentrates CO2 as a side reaction during the power generation process. In this application of the technology, the exhaust of a coal fired plant is directed to the air intake of a DFC power plant, which separates and concentrates the CO2 in the exhaust for commercial use or sequestration. Another side reaction that occurs when the fuel cell is used in this application is the destruction of some of the nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions in coal plant streams as the exhaust passes through the fuel cell.

Partners in the project include Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and URS Corp (NYSE: URS).

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