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Fuel cells on show

November 9, 2000, 12:00 CET

Methanol-powered fuel cell technology is being shown by Statoil at the annual world methanol conference in Copenhagen on 9-10 November.

"We're presenting this solution and the opportunities it provides for decentralised and environment-friendly heat and power production," says Sjur Haugen, business development manager for the methanol business unit.

The group has joined forces with America's IdaTech to demonstrate fuel-cell-powered TV and video equipment at the conference.

While the fuel cell comes from IdaTech, it is running on methanol supplied by Statoil's Tjeldbergodden plant in mid-Norway.

Mr Haugen adds that the group is working to develop markets for gas available to it in areas remote from conventional markets.

Natural gas currently provides the feedstock for methanol production, but this chemical could eventually also be made from renewable resources such as biomass.

About 30 million tonnes of methanol are produced world-wide every year. Europe consumes just under six million tonnes, and the Tjeldbergodden plant meets some 15 per cent of that requirement.