RICHLAND, WA - Today the Department of Energy awarded $2.3 million to InnovaTek under a Phase III Xlerator Program for commercialization of the Company’s prototype renewable energy system. The system was developed by InnovaTek for distributed power generation through production of hydrogen from non-food renewable biomass sources using catalytic steam reforming for a solid oxide fuel cell.
The Phase III project will involve several system demonstrations starting in the laboratory and culminating in a field prototype system that produces electricity for a City of Richland utility substation in the Richland Renewable Energy Park located in the Tri-Cities Research District. These demonstrations will provide economic and performance data to support commercialization.
Distributed biomass energy systems reduce the burden on the current electrical distribution system through greater availability of localized power generation and can help level the variability of power production from wind and solar sources.
The bio-oil used in the process is made from agricultural and forestry residuals such as wood sawdust through the fast pyrolysis process. Phases I and II have focused on developing a robust fuel processing technology to convert the bio-oil to hydrogen for a solid oxide fuel cell using highly efficient thermal management and catalytic processing strategies. During Phase III emphasis will be placed on system integration and demonstration to prove commercial feasibility.
Distributed generation of hydrogen from renewable fuels provides a strategy to help meet emissions standards and address fuel availability concerns. “Replacing petroleum-based fuels with renewable non-toxic biofuels will help our nation become more secure through reduced reliance on foreign sources of energy and safer from the environmental impacts of petroleum-based products and conventional combustion-based technologies”, said Dr. Patricia Irving, InnovaTek CEO. “Alternative energy sources must be sought to meet energy demand for our growing economy and to improve energy security while reducing environmental impacts”.
Biomass is a sustainable and renewal feedstock for energy production and its use does not increase CO2 emissions to the atmosphere that contribute to the growing global warming effect on our planet. To avoid competing with food supplies bio-fuel feedstocks should come from agricultural and forestry residues. The conversion of bio-oil from non-food based biomass to hydrogen for fuel cells would allow significant expansion in the uses of renewable feedstocks for energy production.
About InnovaTek Inc.
InnovaTek, Inc. creates technologies for environmental safety and sustainable power. InnovaTek is a leader in portable fuel processing technology and advanced catalysts for hydrogen production from petroleum and renewable fuels. For more information, visit www.tekkie.com.