Sewage gas used to power wastewater treatment facility in Europe

Danbury, CT, Nov. 7, 2005 — FuelCell Energy Inc., a manufacturer of efficient, ultra-clean power generation plants for commercial and industrial customers, announced that its European partner MTU CFC Solutions GmbH, a subsidiary of DaimlerChrysler, and RWE Fuel Cells have commissioned a power plant incorporating FuelCell Energy’s technology to run a municipal wastewater treatment facility in northeastern Germany.

Plans for the 250-kilowatt facility, first disclosed last year, called for installation of MTU’s HotModule power plant. This system combines FCE’s efficient and low-emission Direct Fuel Cell (DFC) stacks with MTU’s balance of plant design that it manufactures for the European market. Situated at the Municipal Wastewater Treatment Works in Ahlen, Germany, it is the first fuel cell in Europe to operate on anaerobic digester gas.

Using sewage gas produced by the Ahlen facility itself as fuel, the power plant generates electricity to run the wastewater treatment process; any excess power is fed to the grid. The power plant also generates 180 kilowatts of heat byproduct. Ahlen harnesses this energy to operate its digestion tower where sewage sludge is turned into the gas fuel source, while any remaining thermal energy is used to heat its office and plant buildings there.

The new technology replaced a combustion engine-driven cogeneration unit.

Methane generated by anaerobic gas digestion is a renewable fuel eligible for government incentive funding for installations around the world. Because fuel in a DFC unit is not burned, it dramatically reduces harmful emissions of gas and particulates while generating firm power on site where it is needed.

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