Diesel could be the ‘future green fuel’

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

WASHINGTON - A Norwegian company is working to make diesel the new environmentally friendly source of energy.

Nordic Power Systems, in conjunction with Cal Tech spin-off SAFCell Inc., recently released a new fist-sized, diesel-powered fuel cell that produces 250 watts of electricity, enough to power yachts or mobile homes.

“Diesel is available most places, is not seen as a hazardous fuel in any way, has high power density, and (our new fuel cell) operates silently without any smell,” Discovery News quoted Tor Geir Engebretsen, the CEO of Nordic Power Systems, as saying.

However, diesel engines have a reputation as being loud, smelly and bad for the environment.

But the new diesel-based fuel cell doesn’t burn the hydrocarbon. Instead, it heats the fuel up to 160 degrees Celsius (320 degrees Fahrenheit), a process known as reforming.

The reformed hydrogen gas then passes into a fuel cell and is converted into electricity and heat. The larger the fuel cell, the more power it could produce.

“Some typical markets are battery charging like in trucks (related to ban on idle running), mobile homes, yachts, UPS systems, a number of defense applications and as range extender in electric/hybrid cars,” said Engebretsen. (ANI)

Filed under: Science and Technology

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