Acumentrics Corporation's Canadian subsidiary, Acumentrics Canada Ltd., is partnering with Natural Resources Canada's CANMET Energy Technology Centre to investigate the use of ammonia as a fuel for Acumentrics' solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs). The fuel cell will convert ammonia to hydrogen and nitrogen internally and release only water vapor and nitrogen.
For several decades now, ammonia, a compound familiar to most people as a cleaning fluid, has been touted as one of the most efficient ways to store and transport hydrogen, the fuel of tomorrow. It is already widely available as a synthetic fertilizer, and is both relatively inexpensive to produce and easy to transport. Pipelines for anhydrous ammonia currently exist in the US, and the ammonia is transported as a liquid in tankers at pressures similar to propane.
SOFCs are one of the most efficient, cleanest power generating systems currently being developed, producing power electrochemically using solid-state ceramic cells. SOFCs are highly fuel-flexible and can operate on available fossil fuels, including natural gas, propane, methane and diesel fuel, as well as ethanol and biogas. Because no combustion is involved, SOFCs produce virtually no NO2, SO2 or particulate emissions.
"At Acumentrics we are proving that solid oxide fuel cells provide innovative fuel choices," said Acumentrics CTO and Senior Vice-President, Dr. Norm Bessette. "Acumentrics Canada will work closely with NRCan to demonstrate that ammonia is a viable fuel. This is an excellent opportunity for us to expand our Canadian presence."
"We need energy to power our economy, and we need clean energy to protect our environment -- that's a priority for our government," said the Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources. "By investing in this project, and other similar projects, we are ensuring that clean energy will continue to form an important part of Canada's energy future."