Element 1 Corp (e1), developer of hydrogen (H2) generation technology, has partnered with Anderson Industries (Anderson) LLC, of Mapleton, North Dakota to develop and commercialise a fuel-cell-powered industrial flameless heater system.

The integrated systems will incorporate a H2 generator, based on e1’s patented technology which converts a mixture of methanol and water into high-purity H2 which is then used by a fuel cell to generate electricity for the flameless heater.

The market for flameless heaters is substantial. They are used to provide heat for remote oil and gas installations in Alaska, North Dakota, and northern Canada, and typically operate continuously during the long and very cold winter months. Traditionally, flameless heaters have used diesel engines connected to flameless heater technology to provide heat to support oil field operations. However, internal combustion engines are noisy, require frequent and expensive maintenance, and have become highly regulated to comply with current emissions standards. In the Oil & Gas market there is a strong demand for a clean, low-maintenance solution that can operate in an extreme cold environment.

“H2 generator and fuel cell powered solutions have matured nicely over the last 15 years and effectively compete against diesel power solutions for many applications,” said Dave Edlund, e1’s CEO. “Anderson brings substantial manufacturing and technical capability to the partnership. We are very excited to be able to collaborate with them as they pioneer a fuel cell powered solution into a large existing flameless heater market.”

Joel Jorgenson, Director of Operations for Anderson Industries’ IronMaster Innovations Centre, said “Anderson already has an established customer who has expressed interest in purchasing production units in 2020. We believe the market demand for fuel cell powered flameless heaters will reach into the thousands of units within a few years based on both the superior performance of the fuel cell solution and the attractive economics compared to existing diesel solutions. Anderson Industries anticipates a full product line featuring both smaller and larger fuel cell powered solutions that would be targeted for agricultural, construction, and flood remediation applications.”

Generic Hydrogen cylinders