Found Energy Reports a Successful kW-scale Hydrogen Generation in their Found Reactor 1
After completing a series of successful test runs, Found Reactor 1 was able to supply high-purity hydrogen gas to a fuel cell for kW-scale electricity production. This significant milestone marks the final testing phase before scaling the technology to MW power production.
Found Energy, a Boston-based company that develops aluminum-based green fuels for heavy industries, reported a successful experiment using their first kW-scale reactor to supply clean hydrogen to a fuel cell. In this test, their Found Reactor 1 (FR1) was supplied with 1 kg of activated aluminum fuel, which is made highly water-reactive via a novel catalyst, and successfully generated a continuous flow of hydrogen at roughly 20 kW of thermal power. Once the hydrogen generation was stabilized, the hydrogen flow was directed to a PEM fuel cell to provide electrical power.
“This experiment marks a significant milestone for Found Energy. After proving our ability to use this technology to produce stable power on a small scale, we can move to the next phase in our R&D plan as we scale to MW reactors,” said Peter Godart, Found energy CEO. “I’m very proud of the team and everyone who contributed to this successful experiment, which came together in only a couple months”.
The completion and successful operation of the FR1 marks the final phase of a series of tests that were completed over the last few months with the goal of better understanding the dynamics of water-reactive fuel at larger power scales. The company plans to summarize the results and study the data generated during these experiments in order to further improve on reactor stability and maximize the overall system energy density.
“The team is very excited to celebrate this achievement after months of work,” said Ariel Jackson, Found Energy VP of R&D. “While we are still studying the data, the early results are very encouraging and we look forward to continuing the technology development”.
The FR1 is the first and the smallest in a series of hydrogen-generating reactors that Found Energy is planning to develop in the coming years. The next reactors in their product roadmap will produce MW’s of green thermal power and will allow for continuous operation, better suited for industrial applications. The company plans to start testing the MW scale reactor by Q3 2023.
“The team has done some amazing work and gotten us one big step closer to bringing our reactors to market,” said Gadi Ruschin, Found Energy CBO. “We already have significant traction from industrial energy consumers that are looking to evaluate how this technology can help them decarbonize their production activities. The next series of reactors will allow live testing in real customer environments”.
Found Energy has set a goal to decarbonize some of the heaviest industries on earth. The company was founded in early 2022 by Peter Godart, CEO, and Gadi Ruschin, CBO, based on an extension of Peter’s PhD research at MIT using aluminum waste to generate hydrogen gas. The company’s breakthrough technology recovers the energy originally stored in the aluminum as a part of the aluminum smelting process as heat and hydrogen, while producing a valuable input for the aluminum smelting industry. The company plans to initially utilize non-recyclable aluminum waste in order to provide clean power to industries ranging from aluminum smelting to maritime shipping. As primary aluminum smelting decarbonizes, the company plans to position aluminum, which is the third most abundant element on Earth, as a global energy carrier to replace fossil fuels.