IEP Technology | In Situ Geothermic Fuel Cells

As Unconventional as the Resources it Reaches

Unconventional oil often lies dormant and in relatively inaccessible formations. Oil companies have learned to heat the ground to expedite nature’s process of turning fossils into fuel—but it requires vast amounts of energy that emit harmful greenhouse gases. Innovation has been slow to overcome these drawbacks—until now. IEP Technology has built on nearly 40 years of field research to leapfrog current technology with its patented Geothermic Fuel Cells (GFCs). GFCs recover oil and produce clean electrical power.


  • 1st Prototype: Initial Single-Stack GFC
    Completed April 2013
    Confirmed the GFCs can generate the necessary temperatures to heat oil shale formations. All key technology design validated.
  • Full-Feature Prototype
    Currently in Testing at Colorado Fuel Cell Center at Colorado School of Mines
    Testing GFC module with all anticipated features. Initial testing successful with 3kW of electrical output and 6kW thermal heat output demonstrated to date. GFC operates well above the target of 1600 kW per meter
  • Outdoor Test at CFCC: 2014
  • Field Testing in NW Colorado: 2015

Geothermic Fuel Cells are Competitive and Compelling

Cost Competitive

  • Consistent, Simplified Heat
    Geothermic fuel cells heat at a uniform rate along their length and therefore heat the formation uniformly from top to bottom. This leads to far greater yields and simplified production cycles.
  • Green, Baseload Electricity Generation
    Geothermic fuel cells generate power while producing heat; in fact, they yield 174-kilowatt hours of green electricity for every barrel of oil recovered.   Approximately 80% of this electricity will be sold to local utilities as clean, baseload power.
  • Capital Parity
    GFC™ Capital and Operating costs, when offset by revenues associated with the sale of surplus electricity and gases, result in a net cost of producing oil of less than $30 per barrel, making recovery costs significantly lower than competing and conventional methods.

Compelling Environmental Benefits

  • Minimal air emissions.
    Since there is no combustion in the GFC process, there is negligible production of NOx, SO2, particulate or toxic emissions, which contribute to acid rain; ozone depletion; haze; or health issues.
  • Requires virtually no water.
    Fuel cells produce steam as an exhaust, which is re-circulated and thereby eliminates any need for outside process water.
  • Minimal surface impact.
    Our in-situ approach leaves the ore body in place and creates minimal waste. Current methods are riddled with environmental problems associated with mining and retorting-based operations that need to dispose of massive quantities of waste “tailings” and dust.