Why is the IPFC Important?
The Integrated Plasma Fuel Cell process is projected to meet the goals of four Presidential Initiatives and urgent National energy policies. See "National Policy Relevance," which explains why rapid development of the IPFC should be important to the United States Government.
Policy significance notwithstanding, the Integrated Plasma Fuel Cell process is the only process confidently predicted to be more efficient and lower in cost than any other fossil energy technology (current or advanced). This confidence is based on laboratory tests on one component (Direct Carbon Fuel Cell) and full-scale operations of another (fossil fuel cracking reactor).
The IPFC process is calculated to produce hydrogen, electricity, heat, gasoline, diesel fuel and highly concentrated carbon dioxide gas, with much lower pollution than current technologies. Low pollution arises from utilizing non-combustion production techniques. It is a technology well suited to accomplish zero carbon dioxide release. (See the CO2 comparison chart for electricity production.)
Costs are estimated to be lower than other fuel cell technologies and other traditional technologies employing combustion processes. An astonishing conclusion from the analysis is that the calculated cost of hydrogen production at large scale may be zero if electricity is sold at 4 cents per kilowatt hour. (See the cost comparison charts for hydrogen and gasoline.) The IPFC process is expected to be deployed in modular units, permitting a range of applications from tens of kilowatts to hundreds of megawatts.
More engineering and development work is needed, but if small-scale production costs can approach calculated large scale production costs, then hydrogen production facilities can be decentralized and geographically dispersed.
The technology has the potential to empower local production of hydrogen that could have a significant role in making hydrogen powered vehicles practical.