Progressus and AFCP join forces on clean hydrogen pilot project

Progressus and Alkaline Fuel Cell Power (AFCP) have signed a letter of intent to work together on a joint venture pilot project to find a way for natural gas utilities to directly power both residential and commercial buildings.

The JV aims to demonstrate the viability of each company’s technologies and determine whether it is possible to combine various Progressus technologies with AFCP fuel cells to serve consumers in North America’s residential and small building markets. Progressus is 49% owned by PowerTap.

Gas distribution corporations and local governments are building up initiatives to inject hydrogen into the regional gas distribution system in an effort to lower CO2 emissions globally. This gas combination is typically used in residential and commercial buildings and is intended to include up to 20% hydrogen.

In order to provide in-field proof-of-concept, generate operational data that can inform future development and market opportunities, and establish a platform to support future potential growth and additional partnerships, AFCP and Progressus will collaborate to carry out a JV pilot project using technologies from each company. Although the actual location of the JV pilot project is still being debated, it will initially be concentrated in North America, with potential future pilots in Europe receiving secondary priority.

With utility companies all over the world attempting to inject hydrogen into natural gas streams, Progressus’ technology makes it possible to collect diluted hydrogen from gas streams, a crucial component. AFCP’s low-cost combined heat and power alkaline fuel cell and generator research is complemented by Progressus, a method that can extract the hydrogen with great efficiency.

The JV pilot project is planned to efficiently extract hydrogen with high purity from the existing natural gas grid using Progressus hydrogen separation technology, and then convert the purified hydrogen using either AFCP’s 4 kW Micro-CHP or 4 kW generator to produce power and maybe heat. A residential or commercial facility might use this project right away to get totally emission-free power. Municipalities and utilities for natural gas and electricity have expressed interest in testing the idea, according to AFCP.

An ideal prospective approach to help the production of low carbon energy that supports the global shift to clean energy is to combine the technologies from the two companies.

The proposed pilot project would first focus on one extraction system connected to one 4 kW Micro-CHP or generator system, with future pilots aimed at providing clean hydrogen and power for several household customers or commercial uses expanding to a greater scale.