Environmental Protection

EERC Foundation Moves on Hydrogen Fueling System Patent

 The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) Foundation in Grand Forks, N.D., allowance for a patent application on a system that produces high-pressure hydrogen on demand. An April 13 press release said the final patent will be approved in the very near future.

The technology converts alcohols or liquid fuels, such as ethanol, methanol, and gasoline, to high-pressure hydrogen at the time of fueling. This process eliminates the need for transportation and storage. The hydrogen is produced on-site, on demand at the fuel pump.

Researchers in the EERC's National Center for Hydrogen Technology, with support from the U.S. Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory and over 85 corporate partners, have proved the conversion of methanol into hydrogen and are working toward obtaining similar results for ethanol and hydrocarbon fuels, including military jet fuel.

This technology is a cornerstone for the EERC's proposed United States–Israel Hydrogen Fueling and Fleet Demonstration, which proposes to demonstrate hydrogen as a fuel for transit buses in North Dakota and Tel Aviv, Israel. The EERC is currently seeking federal co-funding for that project.

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