Akzo Nobel Successful Start-Up Pilot Hydrogen Power Plant

NedStack Fuel Cell Technology and Akzo Nobel Base Chemicals report successful start-up and operation of a PEM fuel cell system in Akzo Nobel's chlorine electrolysis pilot plant. Measured electric efficiency of the fuel cells in this "real life" condition is 61,8%. Installation and operation of the pilot-plant is the first step in the development of a 50 MW fuel cell power plant. The pilot plant will be located in Rotterdam, the largest industrial area in the Netherlands.

The Akzo Nobel chlorine pilot plant is producing chlorine through a membrane electrolysis process. This process generates chlorine and caustic soda lye as main products, and hydrogen. NedStack has installed proton exchange membrane fuel cells that consume hydrogen produced in the plant, and convert this hydrogen to electric power. This fuel cell generated power is used in the same pilot plant for electrolysis process.

NedStack has started the production of a second fuel cell power module. This power module is rated at 200 kWe peak power, and will be installed in the Akzo Nobel production plant in Rotterdam, scheduled for mid 2005. A fuel cell power plant will use the hydrogen that is produced in a large chlorine electrolysis plant. This plant will use the power generated by the fuel cells. In this way a substantial reduction of the net energy consumption can be accomplished.

Preliminary specifications for the fuel cell power plant are: 50 MW nominal power, 200 MW rated fuel cell peak power, 60% electric efficiency, zero emission, 40.000 hours fuel cell operating time without maintenance.

During the project NedStack and Akzo Nobel will develop and build a pilot power module to proof feasibility, to test reliability, and design the full-scale fuel cell power plant. The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs supports the development within the framework of the EdI (Energy Saving through Innovation) program.

NedStack fuel cell technology BV is producer of advanced PEM-fuel cell stacks. PEM fuel cell stacks are developed and produced for passenger cars and public transportation, for combined heat and power units, and for several portable fuel cell applications. NedStack is using its own patented technology in its products. The company has its development centre and production site in Arnhem, The Netherlands.

Akzo Nobel is an international pharmaceuticals, coatings and chemicals company. Akzo Nobel Base Chemicals is an important producer of chlorine and alkali products, and various derivatives. Products are used in glass, and in the chemicals, detergent, pulp & paper, and plastics industries. Major production sites are in Delfzijl, Hengelo, and Rotterdam in the Netherlands, in Bohus and Skoghall in Sweden, and in Ibbenbüren and Bitterfeld in Germany.

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