RICHLAND, WA - InnovaTek has delivered an InnovaGen®5 fuel processor to the U.S. Army Research Lab in Maryland. The prototype device is a deliverable under a two-phase research and development project funded through the Defense Department’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program. During the project InnovaTek scientists developed advanced steam reforming catalysts and proprietary hardware for processing fuel using micro-channel reactor technology.
The rapid start time, quiet operation and high efficiency of fuel cells provide an ideal solution as a portable power source for the individual soldier for extended missions or for auxiliary power for a wide range of military and commercial applications. However, the supply of hydrogen gas to the fuel cell at the point of use remains a problem. InnovaTek addressed this need by developing a compact and efficient fuel processor that provides clean hydrogen from sulfur-containing logistical fuels. The technology will allow fuel cells to be realized in broader markets at an earlier time frame.
A critical component of the technology is the catalyst for the reaction. It determines the performance and efficiency of the system. InnovaTek’s catalyst with its high activity and selectivity helped minimize the fuel processor’s size and provides a long lifetime with minimal maintenance. The Company received a patent for the catalyst earlier this year.
In addition to processing the jet and diesel fuel required by the Army, the technology also produces hydrogen from renewable fuels such as biodiesel. The novel microchannel engineered design of the system results in lower catalyst volume and cost and an overall more compact and efficient design.
Engineers at the Army’s research lab will conduct demonstrations and tests of the prototype system to assess it’s performance and the benefits of incorporating the technology into new products to meet the Army’s portable power production and energy needs.