Advanced Hydrogen Steam Reformation Technology Proposed

Modine and ChevronTexaco Technology Ventures collaborate on research and development regarding a new approach to increase the efficiency, and reduce the cost and complexity of hydrogen generation for distributed energy stations

Published: 31-Mar-2005

Global thermal management leader Modine Manufacturing Company (NYSE:MOD) presented today along with ChevronTexaco Technology Ventures, a ChevronTexaco subsidiary, a paper based on proprietary research and development regarding a new approach to increase the efficiency, and reduce the cost and complexity of hydrogen generation for distributed energy stations. The Modine and ChevronTexaco team is presenting the paper on advanced steam methane reforming (SMR) at the National Hydrogen Association conference March 29 - April 1 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, DC.

As a leader in the field of fuel processing, ChevronTexaco is working to develop and commercialize fuel-processing technologies that leverage existing energy infrastructures and convert a variety of feedstocks such as natural gas, into hydrogen. This is a critical step to enable the practical application of hydrogen in both transportation and distributed power generation.

"This is an excellent opportunity for us to demonstrate the feasibility of a hydrogen infrastructure. It's a novel and unique approach, taking a very complex system and scaling it down to a viable commercial appliance, all self-contained," said Mark Baffa, Director of Modine's Fuel Cell Products Group.

"We have deployed all of what we know about thermal management and SMR and processed it into a single device. No one has been able to do that before. We hope that our collective work will demonstrate that it is possible to support a fuel cell and hydrogen vehicle industry," added Baffa.

In producing hydrogen from natural gas for hydrogen energy stations, ChevronTexaco and Modine are applying innovative engineering to traditional SMR technology. The Advanced SMR reactor integrates multiple reactions and heat transfer functions to increase efficiency while minimizing controls and balance of plant components. This results in a technology that produces hydrogen at a lower cost.

ChevronTexaco and Modine have jointly developed the Advanced SMR to produce hydrogen from natural gas for fuel cell vehicle applications. ChevronTexaco has led the collaboration to integrate several technology and engineering innovations. Leveraging fuel processing knowledge, ChevronTexaco designed the system to be safe and efficient. The Advanced SMR system is expected to produce hydrogen at a low cost and of quality suitable for fuel cell applications.

ChevronTexaco employed Modine's knowledge of heat exchange technology and manufacturing to design and develop the thermal and mechanical design and to fabricate the fuel processor resulting in an efficient and manufacturable hydrogen generator. The integrating of multiple heat exchangers and multiple reactors reduces both the number of components and the processor's cost.

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