Geothermic Fuel Cell In Situ System | Economic oil and gas extraction with little environmental impact

Our Geothermic Fuel Cell™ System:  Viable. Reliable. Valuable.

IEP’s proprietary approach to geothermics presents a revolutionary option to the unconventional hydrocarbon industry. Our system bypasses the current burner and electric ground heating technology by placing a high-temperature fuel cell stack within a formation to heat the ground. As the ground is heated, hydrocarbon liquids and gases are released from the resource into neighboring collection wells. A portion of the gases are processed and returned to the fuel cell stack, with the remainder available for sale into the energy markets.
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After an initial warm up period in which the cells are fueled with an external source of fuel, the GFC self-fuels from gases created by its own waste heat. This self-fueling system, in steady-state operation, produces oil, electricity and surplus natural gases. The result is a geothermic heater that is designed to produce a Net Energy Ratio (NER) of approximately 22 (i.e., 22 units of energy produced for every unit used).

Geothermic Fuel Cells™ and Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

Geothermic fuel cells utilize solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) that have been specifically adapted to their down-hole application. A solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) utilizes a solid ceramic electrolyte instead of a polymer membrane or a liquid electrolyte as in other types of fuel cells.

GEOTHERMIC VS. GEOTHERMAL

There is a difference between geothermic and geothermal. Geothermal, the more common concept, is using heat from the ground. Geothermic is the process of heating the ground.


Geothermic Fuel Cell System

Reliable fuel cell stacks are the key component in the overall system.  To lower the risk and cost, the GFCs utilize best in class fuel cell stacks from technology leaders in the fuel cell industry.  These stacks are assembled inside robust, oil field casings to form a heater module.  These modules are then joined together as they are lowered into the bore holes to form a heater string up to 480 feet long.  The modules are now in-situ and ready to be jump started with any number of different fuels. Once operating, external fuel is no longer needed and the fuel cells operate for 5+ years.

WHY USE SOFCS?

  • There are no moving parts or liquid components, eliminating most potential failure modes.
  • No expensive noble metal catalysts, like platinum, are required for their operation.
  • SOFCs are simple, low cost, and reliable.
  • SOFCs are highly efficient at converting fuel into heat and power.
  • SOFCs can operate on a variety of fuels including natural gas, propane, landfill methane, coal gas, and the non-condensable gases produced from in-situ heating of petroleum, coal, tar sands and oil shale.