FuelCell Energy, Inc. (Nasdaq: FCEL) and Exxon’s partnership is moving ahead this week with a new development. FuelCell Energy announced it has received an order from Exxon for long-lead fuel cell stack module equipment and engineering support that are required to equip a potential demonstration of modular point source carbon capture at an ExxonMobil facility.
Exxon hasn’t made a final investment decision yet but the order is a step towards FuelCell Energy deploying its carbon capture technology. The demonstration of the modular point source carbon capture is a full-scale prototype of a commercial system for an industrial application.
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FuelCell’s carbon capture technology works as it uses carbonate fuel cells to capture CO2 emissions. The exhaust flue gases from the coal or gas-fired system are fed into the cathode side of the fuel cell. Then, the CO2 in the exhaust is transferred to the anode side, where it is more concentrated and easy to separate.
The CO2 from the anode exhaust stream is purified by chilling the stream to extract CO2 liquid. According to the company, it can then be purified to be transported by pipeline for enhanced oil recovery applications or underground storage.
It also claims that its technology produces additional power from the carbon capture process rather than consume power to capture the CO2 which is what conventional systems do. As the units are modular, the system can be scaled up to the size required by the clients to meet their needs. The carbon capture modules system can range from a single sub-megawatt (MW) power plant to an entire multi-MW fuel cell park.
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Even though the company’s technology is promising, it has been lagging behind in terms of execution of project developments that have suffered from chronicle delays. That has resulted in a step-by-step expansion of Exxon’s partnership with FuelCell every few months rather than a full long-term commitment.
“FuelCell Energy continues to gain confidence in achieving large scale commercialization of FuelCell Energy’s carbonate technology for industrial and commercial point source carbon capture. We believe that this technology will address one of the largest environmental challenges of today, CO2 emissions from industrial and commercial exhaust streams and power generation,” said Jason Few, President and Chief Executive Officer of FuelCell Energy.