Seattle – Washington Technology Center has awarded $64,275 i
n Research and Technology Development funding based on a proposal from InnovaTek in collaboration with WSU.

InnovaTek, a Richland-based developer of patented technologies for sustainable power and environmental safety, is teamed with WSU to improve InnovaTek’s hydrogen fuel processor technology.

WSU will receive $64,275 in Phase I Research and Technology Development funding from Washington Technology Center and an additional $12,812 from InnovaTek for the project titled “Development of Computer Models and Control Schemes for Biofuel-based Fuel Cell Systems.

“InnovaTek is a jewel in the crown of our district,” said State Sen. Jerome Delvin, R-Richland. “The Tri-Cities is fortunate to be rich in technological innovation. InnovaTek’s work on alternative energy will likely be a major force in powering-up Washington in the coming decades. I’m eager to see its research transform the use of fuel processing technology and hydrogen-generated energy in our lifetime.”

State Rep. Larry Haler, R-Richland said “I am excited to see the results of this collaborative effort toward cleaner, alternative energy. Washington, like all states, wants to reduce its dependency on oil, especially foreign oil. I am pleased WSU and InnovaTek are helping lead the way.”

Hydrogen fuel cells are an alternative energy source that converts the chemical energy stored in hydrogen to electrical energy without greenhouse gas emissions. However, the transport and storage of hydrogen is expensive and difficult due to its low volumetric energy density.  Therefore, the use of energy dense liquid fuels, such as biodiesel for the production of hydrogen at the place of use, will allow fuel cells to be employed for the production of electricity using the existing fuel distribution network.

In this Phase I project, InnovaTek and Patrick Pedrow, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Washington State University, will develop a microchip-based control system that integrates InnovaTek’s InnovaGen fuel processor with commercially available fuel cells. A well-defined and developed control system should not only ensure smooth and safe operation at steady-state conditions, but also provide fast and consistent performance.

Commercial development of InnovaTek’s technology will create a power production technology that can utilize current gasoline, diesel and biodiesel distribution infrastructures to provide a clean, quiet and energy-efficient electrical energy generating system.

Washington Technology Center competitively awards around $1 million in state funding annually as part of the Research and Technology Development program. State funding enables collaboration between companies and non-profit research institutions on technology projects that show strong potential for commercializing products and creating jobs. Since 1996, the state has funded 318 Research and Technology Development projects.

Applications for the next round of funding are due April 24, 2008. More information about the Research and Technology Development grants program is available online at http://www.watechcenter.org/re/rtd.