FuelCell Energy Inc (NASDAQ:FCEL) has announced that it is moving forward into stage three of the carbon capture development program it is taking part in. The program is being funded by the Fossil Energy’s Carbon Capture Program through the U.S. Department of Energy. It focuses on Direct FuelCell technology and using it to pull carbon dioxide out of the emissions given off by coal-fired power plants.

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FuelCell Energy moves to phase three

Today FuelCell announced that it has received an additional $1.2 million from the Department of Energy to move into the third phase of the project. The company completed the previously set goals for project design and finances. Phase three will include validating the carbon dioxide capture process by using a Direct FuelCell stack. In order to do that, FuelCell Energy will use a FuelCell stack to pull out 90% of the carbon dioxide from exhaust given off by a simulated coal gas plant.

“This project is making measurable progress for providing an efficient and cost effective carbon concentration and capture solution for coal-fired power plants, which has compelling market applicability,” said FuelCell Energy CEO Chip Bottone in a statement. “This next phase of the project advances the solution to demonstrate a commercial fuel cell stack, which is a significant step towards commercialization.”

Advantages of FuelCell’s CO2 capture system

The company said analysis shows that its Direct FuelCell carbon dioxide capture system offers benefits over currently used commercial technologies. FuelCell Energy said the system is able to produce additional power while also capturing carbon dioxide from the emissions given off by fossil fuel-based power plants.

The company started working on the project nearly three years ago. It includes designing the system to capture carbon dioxide, analyzing the costs, and testing a Direct FuelCell stack over the long term. The Department of Energy is providing funding for the project in phases as the company reaches certain milestones. In all, the project was $3 million, and the phase three payment of $1.2 million is the final award. With that payment, the company will further advance the system it has developed. After the completion of phase three, the system will move into field trials.