FuelCell Energy Inc (NASDAQ:FCEL) has received a total of $4.4 million in federal grants to develop new technologies. The U.S. Energy Department has granted $3.5 million to the Danbury-based company to work with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the University of Connecticut to develop a fuel cell stack that can convert renewable biogas or natural gas to methanol. Notably, methanol is cheaper to transport and store than gas.

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Fuel Cell Energy to develop a new electrochemical reactor technology

FuelCell Energy Inc (NASDAQ:FCEL) has received another $900,000 from the Energy Department to develop an electrochemical reactor technology that would produce hydrogen on site where it’s needed rather than in big plants. It will reduce the transportation costs while bringing down carbon emissions. This grant is part of the Energy Department’s $20 million program that aims to advance hydrogen production and delivery technology.

FuelCell Energy Inc (NASDAQ:FCEL) will work to cost-effectively convert gas to liquids, cleanly generating hydrogen. Tony Leo, VP of the advanced technology unit of the Energy Department, said that they have a very versatile stationary fuel cell power plant technology. That will help FuelCell Energy develop the technology to produce hydrogen outside the large plants.

FuelCell Energy to reach break-even by the end of this year

Earlier this month, FuelCell Energy Inc (NASDAQ:FCEL) disappointed investors with its second quarter results. The company suffered a loss of 3 cents on revenues of $38.3 million, missing the Wall Street consensus on both parameters. Revenues were hit by lower average selling price. However, the company has built a huge backlog. Based on existing and new orders, FuelCell Energy forecasts revenues of $50-$60 million in each of the remaining two quarters of 2014.

FuelCell Energy Inc (NASDAQ:FCEL) expects to reach EBITDA break-even by the end of this year. The company currently produces 70MW of fuel cells per year at its Torrington factory. FuelCell says increase in the volume to 80MW would make it profitable.

FuelCell Energy Inc (NASDAQ:FCEL) shares jumped 1.29% to $2.36 in pre-market trading Wednesday.