Coca-Cola's New Fuel Cells

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In an effort to reduce its energy use and carbon footprint, Coca-Cola will soon rely on hydrogen fuel cells for a portion of its operational energy and heat as well as for backup power generation.

UTC Power will supply two of its new PureCell Model 400 fuel cell systems to provide on-site electricity and heat for Coca-Cola’s production facility in Elmsford, New York. The efficient energy and heat source will help further Coca-Cola’s sustainability efforts, specifically around energy conservation and water stewardship.

UTC Power will install the two fuel cell systems on-site at the Coca-Cola facility. Together, the fuel cells will generate enough energy and heat for 30 percent of the facility’s overall operational needs. They also will serve as a backup source of power in the case of a utility power outage. UTC Power will own, operate and maintain the fuel cells as part of a 10-year energy services agreement.

Ron Lewis, vice president of supply chain for Coca-Cola Enterprises, commented, “At Coca-Cola Enterprises, corporate responsibility and sustainability are integral to our overall business strategy. The fuel cell systems at our Elmsford facility will help us further our environmental commitment to our local communities, reducing our carbon footprint and our use of the local power grid.”

Fuel cells are one of the cleanest and most efficient energy-generation sources available in the world today. Hydrogen and oxygen are combined in an electrochemical process to produce electricity, heat, and water. A hydrogen-rich fuel is derived from natural gas in a process called reforming.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is providing $2 million toward the project. NYSERDA provides energy-related technical and financial assistance to businesses and institutions to promote energy efficiency and economic development in New York State. For Francis J. Murray, President and CEO of NYSERDA, this is a feather in the cap for his state. “Our partnership with Coca-Cola Enterprises and UTC Power will complement Governor Paterson’s comprehensive energy agenda, which will make New York the most energy-efficient state in the nation, encourage the use of renewable energy technologies and tackle the crisis of global warming.”

This isn’t the first steps Coca-Cola has taken toward environmental sustainability. The company has deployed 20 hybrid electric delivery trucks throughout metro New York City and has installed innovative water-saving technology in all of its New York production facilities. Coca-Cola is also considering adding fuel cells at some of its 431 facilities across North America and Western Europe.

Read Fuel Cell Science and Engineering: Materials, Processes, Systems and Technology from Amazon.

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