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Franklin Fuel Cells Receives $1M in National Defense Appropriations Bill

Franklin Fuel Cells’ $1 million appropriation in the U.S. Senate’s 2006 National Defense Appropriations Bill was announced by U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, and U.S. Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), a senior member of Senate Appropriations Committee.

This funding is Franklin’s second major Defense appropriation in a year and covers phase two of a project begun last year for the U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Research. It is also the company’s second major federal grant in little more than nine months. (Last July, Franklin’s patented Copper-Ceria SOFC (Solid Oxide Fuel Cell) technology received $100,000 from the Department of Energy’s Solid State Energy Conversion Alliance (SECA) grant.) The Senate’s statement said: “$1 million to Franklin Fuel Cells in Chester County for Copper-Ceramic Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Technology research. Deployment of fuel cells has the potential to greatly reduce military fuel costs and distribution logistics. However, current fuel cell technologies must use either hydrogen or zero/low sulfur fuels, which makes them impractical for military deployment.” Franklin claims its proprietary technology can offer increased system efficiency as much as 56% higher than traditional SOFCs. Franklin says that its Direct Oxidation SOFC technology allows hydrocarbon fuels to be fed directly into the fuel cell with no reforming or additional water/steam, resulting in system simplicity that reduces capital costs and maintenance. Franklin claims its system is fuel flexible, as proven in its phase-one success when its technology demonstrated 500+ hours of continuous hydrocarbon-fuel operation at high fuel utilization. The company also claims to have proven and demonstrated this fuel flexibility on every form of today’s readily available hydrocarbon fuels, as well as the fuels of tomorrow.