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Ballard, Univ. of Maryland and Army Research Lab Partner on Fuel Processing Technology for Operation of Fuel Cells With Non-Hydrogen Fuels

Fuel cell designer and manufacturer Ballard Power Systems, with founding partners University of Maryland (UMD) and US Department of Defense Army Research Laboratory (ARL), has launched a new center of excellence for the advancement of fuel processing technology. The new center—named FuelWorks—will be located at the University of Maryland in College Park.

FuelWorks has a mandate to develop technologies enabling fuel cells to operate with fuels such as JP-8, diesel, natural gas as well as LPG. It will be open to industry, academia and government agencies, providing a forum for collaboration to advance fuel-reforming technology for military and commercial applications.

The center of excellence will leverage the on-going collaboration among scientific and technical staff from UMD, Ballard and Army Research Laboratory.

At FuelWorks, collaboration will advance the operation of fuel cells using hydrogen extracted from military logistics fuels, specifically JP-8/DF-2 fuels. Success will ensure low-noise and low-heat signatures, together with very high efficiency operation, which are desirable properties for military tactical generators.

Related advancements in fuel processing are also expected to have direct commercial applicability for residential, commercial, mobile and utility applications. Ballard intends to apply its substantial intellectual property portfolio of over 2,000 patents and licenses.

Ballard will also continue its active participation in UMD’s Center for Environmental Energy Engineering (CEEE), an industry-sponsored consortium of public and private organizations collaborating on clean energy solutions for portable and distributed power.



Flex-fuel fuel cells would certainly solve the need for hydrogen infrastructure and make FCs more appropriate for many uses. It could also eventually compete with ICE gensets for more efficient cleaner (large and small) PHEVs.


There have been mobile fuel processors ever since the NECAR4 that reformed M100 to hydrogen.

It would be a good use for methanol, if we could ever get M100 blend at the pump into oil company gas stations.


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