AFC Energy believes that this is the first hydrogen fuel cell deployed with UCG, and as such represents a major step towards the opportunity of combining UCG and alkaline fuels cells as a breakthrough technology for cleaner coal worldwide. The company sees this combination of technologies as potentially the cleanest way to use coal.
Hydrogen produced from Linc Energy’s UCG process is an ideal feedstock for AFC Energy’s low-cost alkaline fuel cell systems. Linc Energy will utilize a simple membrane gas separation process on the UCG gases, to ensure a hydrogen-rich mix is available for the fuel cell system.
The deployment of AFC Energy’s Alpha fuel cell system builds on an order and exclusivity agreement between Linc Energy, AFC Energy, and UK-based B9 Coal signed last December. The relationship was instigated by B9 Coal, which continues to lead the project and is actively pursuing opportunities for deploying these technologies in the UK.
The next stage of the project will be the commissioning of the Beta system and, ultimately, multi-megawatt deployment with UCG.