What if soldiers could convert JP-8 to clean hydrogen fuel for fuel cell applications anywhere and anytime they need it?
A small team of scientists at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory are collaborating with counterparts at the Communications-Electronics and the Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Centers to develop technology for lightweight, portable prototype systems that would convert JP-8 to Hydrogen on the spot.
“There is a growing demand for portable electrical power for both commercial and military applications,” said Dr. Deryn Chu, fuel cell team leader. “Our challenge is ‘How can we remove the many impurities in JP-8 so it can be effective in a fuel cell?’”
JP-8 is widely used by the U.S. Army as a fuel for powering aircraft, engines of tactical ground vehicles and electrical generators. It comes with a set of problems like the logistics resupply chain it requires, and the high cost associated with force protection of convoys, he said.
The Pentagon’s most-used jet fuel costs roughly $15 per gallon, but “. . . the cost multiplies to hundreds of dollars by the time you move it to and around operational locations,” Chu said.