FuelCell Energy, a manufacturer of ultra-clean power plants using renewable and other fuels, has been awarded approximately $2.8m from the US Department of Energy to demonstrate the hydrogen production capacity of a Direct FuelCell (DFC) power plant for an industrial user of hydrogen.

The fuel cell will be installed at a metal processing facility owned by ACuPowder International, located in Union, New Jersey.

The metal processing industry uses significant amounts of electricity and heat along with industrial gases such as hydrogen to treat metal prior to stamping, shaping or forming.

This project will capitalize on the versatility of fuel cells by configuring the fuel cell to generate three value streams including clean electricity, hydrogen and high quality heat.

The DFC300 can generate about 300 pounds of hydrogen per day, which generally meets the daily requirements of the ACuPowder facility.

Fuel cells generate power through an electrochemical reaction that does not require combustion; as a result, fuel cells operate with higher efficiency and emit virtually no pollutants.

When byproduct heat is utilized the combined efficiency of the power plant can be greater than 80%, resulting in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 12,000 tons annually.