Why FuelCell Energy?

Ultra-Clean

Ultra-clean fuel cell power promotes healthy living and helps preserve the environment

FuelCell Energy’s Direct FuelCell (DFC®) power plants convert fuels such as clean natural gas or renewable biogas into electricity, heat, and water through an electrochemical reaction. This combustion-free power generation process creates electricity that is virtually absent of pollutants. Generating ultra-clean energy while producing virtually no pollutants supports customer sustainability goals and public health in neighboring communities.

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Two DFC1500 fuel cell power plants generating ultra-clean power

By comparison, internal combustion-based power generation creates harmful emissions such as nitrogen oxide (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SOx) and particulate matter (PM). NOx and SOx emissions are regulated in many regions to minimize their adverse health effects and the creation of smog. PM emissions are a public health concern as the particulates can lodge deep in human lung tissue, accumulating over time. While downstream exhaust treatment of internal combustion emissions can remove some NOx, SOx and PM, overall levels remain significantly higher than those achieved from ultra-clean fuel cell power generation. In addition, downstream exhaust treatment for internal combustion power generation adds cost and complication.

Our DFC fuel cells also have a low carbon footprint. Natural gas contains carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas. Fuel cells operating on natural gas release less CO2 than combustion-based power generation due to the high efficiency of the fuel cell power generation process. For example, nine states in the USA have classified stationary fuel cells as Class I renewable power generation due to their high efficiency and resultant low carbon emissions. Fuel cells operating on biogas are typically classified as carbon-neutral by regulatory authorities due to the renewable nature of the biogas fuel source.

The low emissions and near-zero pollutant profile of our products facilitates the clean air permitting process. All three of our DFC power plants, including the 2.8 MW DFC3000, 1.4 MW DFC1500 and 300 kW DFC300 have received certification under the California Air Resources Board’s distributed generation standards when operating on natural gas and both the DFC1500 and DFC300 are certified for operation on renewable biogas. In the State of California, the CARB 2007 certification allows the local Air Quality Management District to exempt the fuel cell installation from the clean air permitting process, which accelerates the approval process. Outside of California, the CARB 2007 certification independently validates the clean air profile of DFC plants.

Emissions (Lbs. Per MWh)
Fuel Source NOX SO2 PM10 CO2 CO2 with CHP
Average U.S. Fossil Fuel Plant 5.06 11.6 0.27 2,031 NA
Microturbine (60 kW) 0.44 .008 0.09 1,596 520 – 680
Small Gas Turbine 1.15 .008 0.08 1,494 520 – 680
DFC® Power Plant 0.01 0.0001 0.00002 940 520 – 680