EERC to Help Develop New Process to Convert Natural Gas Into Other Usable Liquids

By Derek Walters, Energy & Environmental Research Center.

The University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) announced today it is working with FuelCell Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ: FCEL), an integrated stationary fuel cell manufacturer located in Danbury, Connecticut, to develop a durable, low-cost, and high-performance electrochemical cell to convert natural gas and other methane-rich gas into methanol, a major chemical commodity with worldwide applications in the production of liquid fuels, solvents, resins, and polymers.

The EERC's portion of the project is being funded through matching funds from the North Dakota Department of Commerce's Research ND Program. The Research ND award was a first for the EERC.

"This is a fine example of leveraging private sector dollars with state research funds on a technology that could greatly impact North Dakota's economy. This project involves new technologies that produce value-added products from both fossil and renewable methane," said EERC Director Tom Erickson.