Which fuel for fuel cells?

Nuvera Fuel Cells has entered into an agreement with TotalFinaElf to study the effects of petrol on fuel processors and fuel cell stacks designed for the automotive industry.

Nuvera Fuel Cells announced yesterday that it has entered into an agreement with TotalFinaElf to study the effects of petrol on fuel processors and fuel cell stacks designed for the automotive industry.

According to the agreement, the two companies will identify constituents of reformate under variable reforming conditions that adversely affect PEM (proton exchange membrane) fuel cell life.

They intend to accomplish this by determining the characteristics of a reformer subjected to a wide range of process conditions (air, steam, and temperature), identifying potential PEM contaminants, and conducting tests with design gases to measure the rate of performance loss in a fuel cell stack.

“This agreement is in strategic alignment with our goal to rapidly advance the commercialisation of fuel cells through the use of on-board fuel reformers,” said William Mitchell, Vice President of Marketing, Nuvera Fuel Cells. “Our efforts with TotalFinaElf will significantly increase our understanding of the impact gasoline has on fuel cells, and, in turn, enable the development of optimised fuels for reformer-based fuel cell vehicles in the near future.”

“The debate about the preferred fuel for fuel cell vehicles is far from over,” added James Cross, Vice President of Technology, Nuvera Fuel Cells. “In contrast to hydrogen, liquid fuels exploit existing global infrastructure and have far superior energy density – while the role of hydrogen in niche fleets is assured, these facts will endure for decades to come.”

The joint program, which commences immediately, will be conducted using Nuvera’s Transient Reactor Facility in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as well as Nuvera’s Fuel Cell Test Facility in Milan, Italy.

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