Propane Powers a New Fuel Cell

Texas Officials View Demo in San Antonio

Published: 22-Jan-2004

ed behind the TransGuide building, nestled in an island surrounded by the traffic-and-construction chaos of the Loop 410-Interstate 10 interchange, two large, gray boxes are making fuel cell energy.

The $1.43 million fuel cell project, demonstrated Tuesday by the state agencies and private companies that developed it, uses propane to generate about 4 kilowatts per hour -- enough to power the huge traffic monitoring screens in the adjacent Texas Department of Transportation building.

"This is the first fuel cell in Texas that uses propane as its primary fuel source," Texas Railroad Commissioner Charles Matthews said. The commission led the project and is involved in the Texas Fuel Cell Partnership.

Texas has an interest in promoting propane fuel cell technology because of its large natural gas reserves, existing propane infrastructure and rural areas where running power lines is expensive.

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