PEMFC system and low-grade bioethanol processor
unit development for back-up and off-grid power applications
In PEMBeyond project a cost-competitive, energy-efficient and durable integrated PEMFC based power system operating on low-grade (crude) bioethanol will be developed for back-up and off-grid power generation.
Back-up and off-grid power is one of the
strongest early markets for fuel cell technology today. Wireless
communication systems are rapidly expanding globally, and the need
for reliable, cost-competitive and environmentally sustainable
back-up and off-grid power is growing, especially in developing
Fuel cell technology has already proven to be
superior to conventional technologies - diesel generators or
batteries - in these applications in terms of total cost of
ownership (TCO). However, the growth of the fuel cell industry in
this sector has been modest at least partially due to high initial
investment cost and fuel logistics problems. Cost-competitive PEMFC
power system compatible with crude bioethanol would allow direct use
of easily transported and stored, locally produced sustainable and
low-emission fuel also in developing countries, further adding value
and increasing the number of potential applications and end-users
for fuel cell and hydrogen technology.
The PEMBeyond system will basically consist of
the following functions integrated as a one complete system:
a) Reforming of crude bioethanol,
b) H2 purification,
c) Power generation in PEMFC system.
Optimized overall system design combined to use
of improved system components and control strategies will lead to
improvements in cost, efficiency and durability throughout the
complete system. Latest automotive reformate compatible PEMFC stacks
will be used, possessing high potential to reducing stack
manufacturing costs. On top of this, the stacks as a part of a
low-grade H2 compatible fuel cell system design will allow both FC
system simplifications (e.g. no cathode humidifier needed) and
complete system simplifications (e.g. higher CO ppm and lower H2%
allowed) leading to decreased cost. Optimizing the target H2 quality
used will be a key task with the regard to overall system cost,
efficiency and durability.
An extensive techno-economic analysis will be
carried out throughout the project to ensure attractiveness of the
concept. A roadmap to volume production will be one of the main
deliverables of the project.
Project was started on May 1st 2014 with planned
duration of three years. Total budget is 4.6 Million Euros. The
research consortium coordinated by VTT Technical Research Centre of
Finland consists of five European collaborators all from different
The project was concluded in 31st of December 2018.
For a summary of results, see D1.3 in the Deliverables section.
May 15, 2018 -
April 10, 2017 - Deliverables
August 16, 2016 - Deliverables
March 18, 2016 -
March 8, 2016 - Contacts
February 4, 2015 - FCH JU New logo and
May 15, 2014 -
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under
grant agreement no 621218.
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland