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Engelhard launches advanced technology for reforming hydrocarbons in fuel cell applications


ISELIN, NJ, Nov. 4, 2003 – Engelhard Corporation has introduced an advanced catalytic approach for hydrogen reforming of natural gas and liquid petroleum gas used in fuel cell applications. The technology features durable monolithic structures based on Engelhard’s extensive product line of environmental catalysts including the automotive catalytic converter.

“It is part of our mission to share expertise and best practices among various industries when it helps customers meet their business challenges and improve their products,” said Terence C. Poles, Ph.D., director of fuel cell technology at Engelhard.

“By applying our expertise with the automotive catalytic converter to create improved reformer designs and catalyst materials, we have overcome some of the limitations of traditional materials and processes that have hindered fuel cell commercialization.”

Engelhard technologies for reforming hydrocarbon fuels through steam reforming (SR) on metal supports for highly effective heat exchange and autothermal reforming (ATR) feature the use of precious metal catalysts. ATR combines catalytic partial oxidation (CPO) and SR as two separate layers of a single catalyst monolith. The patented catalysts are highly active and sulfur tolerant. The monolith acts as a heat neutral reactor, utilizing the heat generated by CPO reactions to provide heat required for SR reactions. Monolithic catalyst support structures for reforming surpass traditional methods used by chemical and refining industries to generate hydrogen from fuels to power fuel cells.

New benefits for improved fuel cell performance include enhanced heat transfer, reduced size, weight, and pressure drop, and enhanced mechanical integrity and response to transient behavior. Monoliths and heat exchangers are also used as supports for water gas shift, preferential oxidation and anode tail gas combustion catalysts. With effective precious metal recycle, these catalysts can also help system integrators meet the cost targets for fuel cells.

Engelhard will be a key sponsor at the upcoming Fuel Cell Seminar in Miami Beach, November 3-6. At the conference, the company will present a paper on “New Catalyst Technologies for Advanced Fuel Cell Reformer Designs.” To learn more, visit their conference website at www.gofuelcell.com.

A developer of improved catalysts for phosphoric acid fuel cells, Engelhard has been involved with fuel cells for more than 20 years. The company’s intensive research and development effort has created a variety of catalysts, sorbents and precious metal powders that offer excellent activity, durability and safety in fuel cell applications.

Engelhard Corporation is a surface and materials science company that develops technologies to improve customers’ products and processes. Engelhard is a provider of technologies for environmental, process, appearance and performance applications. For more information, visit Engelhard on the Internet at www.engelhard.com.