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Energy on demand

Reforming is a chemical process where an alcohol is to energy storage split over a hot catalyst to form hydrogen, CO2 and water vapour.

The produced hydrogen is burned in a fuel cell to deliver electrical power. Alcohol is used as it is a more convenient source of hydrogen than the gas itself. It is a liquid that can be carried and poured, rather than an invisible and explosive gas that would need to be compressed at up to 700 bar, just to make it portable.

The alcohol is used as the source to produce useful hydrogen as required.

The process combines many of TPG’s capabilities in a compact system. It uses a boiler to feed steam
into the hot catalyst chamber, and the alcohol is pumped into the chamber through a vaporiser. The system is an evolution of TPG’s work in submarine atmosphere management, and many of the subsystems are proven to the most stringent standards.

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The advantage of this approach is that it is silent, efficient and doesn’t involve high pressure gases. The current systems are rather complex and expensive, and the focus of development work with
a range of partners is to simplify and value-engineer the method towards commercially attractive units.