Solid oxide fuel cell alliance will eliminate CO2 emissions

Shell Hydrogen and Siemens Westinghouse have signed a cooperative agreement for the development and marketing of low-emission advanced fuel cell technology to the power market. The deal involves solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology developed by Siemens Westinghouse and the US Department of Energy.

The companies will market units that will use Siemens Westinghouse`s SOFC technology coupled with carbon dioxide (CO2) sequestration technology being developed by Shell. The companies believe that electricity will be generated that nearly eliminates the release of harmful emissions, including greenhouse gases.

Shell intends to use the new technology to produce electricity for its own oil and gas production operations. The CO2 produced from the units will be injected into depleted oil and gas reservoirs where it will remain permanently `sequestered`. Shell Hydrogen is a unit of Royal Dutch/Shell, and was set up in 1999 to pursue opportunities in the fuel cell market.

Siemens Westinghouse has already proven its basic SOFC technology, both in the laboratory and in the field with a successful 100 kW demonstration project in the Netherlands that has operated for over 6000 hours. The first commercial units sold will be in the 250 kW to 10 MW size range.