ReforCELL - Advanced Multi-Fuel Reformer for Fuel CELL CHP Systems - ReforCELL

ReforCELL - Advanced multi-fuel Reformer for CHP-fuel CELL systems



TECNALIA is a private, non profit, research organisation resulting from the merger (1st January 2011) of eight research centres: Fundación Cidemco, Fundación ESI-European Software Institute, Fundación European Virtual Engineering, Fundación Fatronik, Fundación Inasmet, Fundación Labein, Fundación Leia and Fundación Robotiker. With around 1,450 people (164 PhD) and 122 M€ revenues in 2010, TECNALIA is the leading private research organisation in Spain. TECNALIA understand its role as innovation partner of industry and of public organisations, working to a common goal: turning knowledge into gross domestic product for improving quality of life generating and developing business opportunities through applied research. TECNALIA acts as a service provider in the field of application oriented-research and technology development combining broad interdisciplinary skills with specialised know-how operating on Business Units of a sectoral nature.

TECNALIA´s Energy Unit is working on renewable energies (solar, biomass, wind, sea power) and efficient and sustainable energy vectors (energy storage, hydrogen, fuel cells). The activities under ReforCELL are mainly carried out by two different departments from the Energy Unit: i) "Materials for Energy" working on the development of materials and components for gas separation and purification (i.e.; hydrogen production, purification and storage), ii) "Bioenergy" addressing the hydrogen production from biomass as well as the development of biofuels (i.e.; Thermal decomposition of Natural Gas by Plasma Technology and Thermal Catalytic Decomposition, gasification, fermentation, second generation biofuels, microalgae, etc.). Besides, the Head of the Energy Storage Dept. (working on fuel cells, electrolysers, batteries,..) will be also directly involved in the project.

TECNALIA holds several accreditations and certificates such as the Certification of the Quality Management System as per UNE-EN-ISO 9001:2008 for the Management of Projects of Research, Technological Innovation and Development, Tests and Assays, and Client Technological Assessment. Since 1989, the Foundation (previously INASMET) has been providing initiatives for European projects in the R&D field. TECNALIA has a European Programmes office working since 2000 dealing with the administrative, financial and legal issues related to European programmes. This office was created to encourage the different technological units from TECNALIA and their industrial partners to actively participate in European Programmes and to support them in the preparation of proposals and the accomplishment of research projects funded by the EC. Very active in the FP7 Programme, TECNALIA has participated in 229 funded projects, 52 of them as coordinator, for a total return of 86M€. . TECNALIA is a full member of the FCH-JU Researching Group (N.ERGHY).


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) is a research driven, design oriented university of technology at an international level, with the primary objective of providing young people with an academic education within the ‘engineering science & technology’ domain. Together with Delft University of Technology and the University of Twente, the TU/e forms the ‘Federation of 3 Universities of Technology’, or ‘3TU.Federation’. The coordination and partnership within the Federation is intended to strengthen the competitive position and reputation of the Dutch universities of technology at a global level.

The Chemical Process Intensification group is part of the faculty of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry at the TU/e. The main objectives of the Chemical Process Intensification (CPI) group are the generation of new fundamental knowledge and the development of new reactor models with improved predictive capability for the industrially important class of multiphase chemical reactors, and the development of novel integrated reactor concepts based on this knowledge. This is achieved by employing a combination of state-of-the-art numerical models (at different levels of detail), advanced (non-invasive) experimental techniques and experimental demonstration of novel reactor concepts (proof of concept).

Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives (CEA)

CEA LITEN (staff: 550) is a technological research institute dedicated to new energy technologies (photovoltaic, batteries, H2 and fuel cells) and nano-materials research. CEA is heading the N.ERGHY research grouping.

LCPEM (~50 people) covers R&D on PEM materials (membranes, catalysts, catalyst supports, GDLs), electrochemical characterization of catalysts, PEMFC MEA and modelling on fluids and electrochemical mechanisms. Main LCPEM (PEM fuel cell and electrolysers components and modelling lab.) activities and projects are on PEMFC MEAs development and ageing, the impact of pollutants and water management on performance and durability. LCPEM also includes the LITEN nano-characterization team benefiting the outstanding equipments of the CEA Grenoble MINATEC platform. LIGE (Electrochemical Generators Integration Lab.), which is the other lab of LITEN involved, leading or contributing to National and European actions on fuel cells stacks and systems development and testing, targeting to performance and durability improvement.

LIGE (~50 people) covers fuel cell stacks and systems development, including systems integration and monitoring for electric vehicles and other fuel cells applications like CHP. System activities are focused on system development, demonstration and optimization. We have been involved for 12 years in several national projects to develop demonstrators for many different markets: passenger cars (with PSA Peugeot Citroën), tractors, planes, or for example sailboat with the project ZéroCO2 ( LCPEM and LIGE are also actively involved in the standardization activities on hydrogen quality for both automotive and stationary applications (ISO TC 197 WG 12 and 14).



The Politecnico di Milano was established in 1863 and is nowadays organised in 17 departments and a network of 9 Schools of Engineering, Architecture and Industrial. The number of students enrolled in all campuses is approximately 40,000, which makes the Politecnico di Milano the largest institution in Italy for Engineering, Architecture and Industrial Design.

The research activity pursued at the Energy Department spans the whole range of thermo-fluid-dynamic processes required to convert primary energy sources into useful forms of energy, as well as to the rational and environmentally friendly use of energy in stationary and mobile plants. This include the study of clean combustion processes for a variety of fuels, selection of proper working fluids and the optimisation of thermodynamic cycles to generate or co-generate mechanical and electrical energy, heat, refrigeration, synthetic fuels, the design of relevant components like steam, gas and hydraulic turbines, compressors, pumps, internal combustion engines, heat transfer, etc. A specific research group is dedicated to Energy Conversion (GECoS,, with expertise in the field of modelling, simulation and testing of power plants and related energy systems. A particular attention is devoted to the technologies for carbon capture and hydrogen production and purification, integrated to the production of power. The research team works with close connection to the main industrial and institutional subjects operating in the power generation field; during the years, it has been involved in the performance testing and tune-up of many ‘benchmark’ Italian power stations, and it has developed permanent relationships with international partners on specific research fields (for instance with the Princeton University in the field of advanced cycles for combined hydrogen and power production from coal). Since end of 2009, the group have operated a new laboratory dedicated to the thermo-physical evaluation of CO2 mixtures and a micro-cogeneration laboratory with the possibility of testing combustion and CHP systems (up to 100 kWe) with natural gas, hydrogen, liquid fuel and syngas feeding, which will be added to other existing labs specifically dedicated to the research on combustion.


Stiftelsen SINTEF (SINTEF; is a multidisciplinary contract research organisation that performs research and development in technology. SINTEF is one of the largest European research institutes (staff of 2000) with an annual turnover of about 220 m€, originating from industrial research contracts as well as European and National research projects. In the present project, the Materials and Chemistry (MC) division of SINTEF will be involved through the Department of Energy conversion and Materials. SINTEF MC has around 400 employees, with about 90% being scientists and technicians.

The Department of Energy conversion and Materials has extensive activities in the fields of membranes for gas separation at low and high temperature, sorbents, hybrid materials and coatings, modelling and process development. The department has experience from several national and European R&D programs within the 5th, 6th and 7th as coordinator and core partner. Of particular relevance for the ReforCELL project, the department has significant R&D activities in the areas of CO2 capture and H2 production, as highlighted with its participation in several European projects (ENCAP, CACHET, DECARBit, and CAESAR, DEMOCLOCK, CACHET-II). The department conducts leading-edge studies on low and high temperature CO2 selective membranes, high temperature metallic-based H2 membranes, materials for chemical looping combustion, CO2 chemisorbents and O2 selective membranes. The department has well-equipped laboratories, and experienced personnel for this purpose.

SINTEF is a full member of the FCH-JU Researching Group (N.ERGHY).


ICI CALDAIE S.p.A. was founded in 1958 and currently it can be considered as a leading company of the CHP sector thanks to the continuous research and development of highly reliable heating generators keeping up with the technological evolution. The experience reached with the passing of the years has allowed the firm to transfer the know-how acquired in the planning and realization of industrial steam generators, a sector in which the firm occupies a leading position, to that of domestic and wall hung boilers. Today ICI CALDAIE S.p.A. presents itself on the European market with a complete range of products: Every project is made by the R&D Department which is endowed with modern networked CAD stations; the preparation of the sub-assembled components is realized with laser cutters and numeric controlled machines; the perfect welding of the elements is ensured by modern robots and every single boiler is subjected to a severe test which certifies its reliability. The development of new products, adequate to the ever stricter European regulations as regards use and emissions, is entrusted to a R&D Department endowed with modern instruments to verify the reliability and output of the boilers. All the models produced are CE marked. In 1993 the ICIM (Istituto di Certificazione Industriale per la Meccanica) certified the Quality System of ICI CALDAIE S.p.A. according to Italian, European and international standards UNI EN 29002 (IS0 9002); in June 2002 BVQI (Bureau Veritas Quality Insurance) confers to ICI CALDAIE S.p.A. the ISO 9001/94 certification and in April 2004 the ISO 9001/00 certification. They own IP about a reforming device used for a PEM fuel cell based micro CHP system.

HyGear B.V. (HYGEAR)

HyGear B.V. ( is a SME based in Arnhem, the Netherlands, with focus on development and manufacturing of hydrogen generation products, such as fuel processors for fuel cells and on-site hydrogen generators (HGS) for fuelling stations. HyGear’s major strengths as a partner in international cooperative projects are its engineering skills, prototyping capabilities, flexibility and possibility to deal with changes and finally the fact that HyGear’s mission is to move hydrogen related technologies closer to market entry. With natural gas based on-site HGS HyGear proved to be successful; several new technologies are under development. The process used in the on-site hydrogen generators is the same as in large-scale plants – steam methane reforming in combination with pressure swing adsorption. The advantage of the products is saving of compression energy (electrical) and transportation energy compared to trucked-in hydrogen from large plants. The cost and energy savings are up to 70% compared to traditional hydrogen supply. HyGear has also been active in metal hydride storage for stationary hydrogen supply and fuel cell systems. For both application areas on-board hydrogen storage is vital. Presently, HyGear employs 45 persons.

HyGear is full member of the European Industry Grouping for a Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Technology Initiative (NEW IG).


Soprano Industry, is an SME recognised for its capabilities in design, test and production of different systems allowing to guarantee the comfort in severe and harsh environments such as railways, military field, aeronautics and navy. The company integrate recognized expertise in the fields of electronic controls, automation systems, power electronics and any thermodynamics systems including production and distribution of cold and / or hot air or liquids. The company has an annual turnover of 22 million Euros, 160 persons are employed in the company located in Vaulx Milieu near Lyon (France). Soprano Industry, a former subsidiary of CGE-ALSTHOM, ALCATEL has in a constant way for more than fifty years developed solutions in all its field of expertise. We could mention some recognised success like the partnership with SNCF on the development of the hybrid locomotive project named PLATHEE or its partnership with PSA on the FISYPAC project.

- On the Plathée project Soprano is involved on the hardware and software to manage the different energies, from fuel cell, super capacitors, diesel engine, batteries.....

- On the FiSyPAC project Soprano is involved on the design and manufacturing of several electronic converters between hydrogen fuel cell, lithium battery pack, auxiliaries and motor inverter.


Since its launch in August 2005, the validated SME Hybrid Catalysis has served the chemical industry with respect to contract R&D in advanced nanostructured catalyst development and automated screening. It has own IP on nanocatalysts that are in cases being subjected to plant trials. Currently, Hybrid has about 15 multinational customers. Hybrid is participant in the granted FP7 programs NanoHost, HiCat and INCAS as wel as participant in CatchBio, a 29 M€ Dutch research effort related to catalytic utilization of renewable feedstocks.


Quantis Sàrl (QUANTIS)

Quantis is a leading life cycle assessment (LCA) consulting firm specialized in supporting companies to measure, understand and manage the environmental impacts of their products, services and operations. Quantis is a global company with offices in the United States, Canada, Switzerland and France and employs close to 70 people, amongst which several are internationally renowned experts in the LCA field. Quantis offers cutting-edge services in environmental footprinting (multiple indicators including carbon and water), eco design, sustainable supply chains and environmental communication. Quantis also provides innovative LCA software, Quantis SUITE 2.0, which enables organizations to evaluate, analyze and manage their environmental footprint with ease. Fuelled by its close ties with the scientific community and its strategic research collaborations, Quantis has a strong track record in applying its knowledge and expertise to accompany clients in transforming LCA results into decisions and action plans.

Joint Research Centre, Institute of Energy and Transport – European Commission (JRC-IET)

The Institute for Energy and Transport (IET) is part of the Directorate General Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission. Its mission is to provide scientific and technological contributions where a European perspective and independence of commercial and national interests are essential. The Institute for Energy and Transport provides its expertise to different stages of European policy-making process in the energy area, on issues related to environmental protection, safety and security of the citizens, and sustainable development. IET collaborates with partners from the EU Member States and beyond. It carries out research (laboratory and desk top) in the fields of clean and sustainable energy addressing both nuclear and non-nuclear domains.

Typical activities encompass clean, efficient energy conversion, and harmonisation and validation of safety and performance assessment of energy conversion and storage technologies. The Institute concentrates on S&T reference systems for policy support at European level including operation of reference test facilities, networking, especially in areas where integrated action at the Union level in support to policies is needed such as in standardization of test methods and procedures (e.g. IEC and ISO), and finally on mobility of scientific skills. It also performs contractual work co-financed by the indirect actions of the Framework Programme (FP) including the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) and work for third parties as well as work at the direct request of Commission Services.

JRC-IET Website