NFCRC In the News

Contact: Will Decker, 949.824.1999 Ext. 11130

National Fuel Research Center at the University of California, Irvine Salutes the First Commercial Deployment of Tri-Generation Technology


Irvine, Calif., November 30, 2017 — The National Fuel Cell Research Center (NFCRC) extends its congratulations to Toyota Motor North America and FuelCell Energy on the recently announced initial commercial deployment of a Tri-Generation fuel cell and hydrogen fueling station at the Port of Long Beach in California. First conceived at the NFCRC in 2002, Tri-Generation was successfully demonstrated at the Orange County Sanitation District in Fountain Valley California in 2011 as a viable strategy for producing bio-hydrogen from human waste, renewable electricity to operate the plant, and renewable heat to power the sewage bio-digesters. The bio-hydrogen was then dispensed by the public into Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV) as a major example of the opportunity for fuel independence and sourcing the vehicle fuel of the future from a renewable source.

"The use of Tri-Generation Technology to produce renewable hydrogen has not only captured the attention of the world, but also the state of California as a means of meeting renewable fuel use mandates, and greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals," said Professor Scott Samuelsen Director of the National Fuel Cell Research Center. "It is incredibly gratifying to see this remarkable technology being commercialized for the benefit of California residents and the world as a whole."

The NFCRC has worked closely with the fuel cell industry in deploying unusually efficient and clean fuel cell technology for both vehicle and power generation applications, and in developing advanced fuel cell systems such as Tri-Generation. The partners selected for the development and demonstration of the Tri-Generation technology at the Sanitation District were FuelCell Energy of Danbury, Connecticut and Air Products Chemicals Incorporated of Allentown, Pennsylvania. In parallel, the NFCRC deployed the first FCEV in the United States with Toyota on December 2, 2002, and established a long standing relationship in systematically exploring the hydrogen fueling infrastructure, and the public perspective of both hydrogen vehicles and the fueling of hydrogen vehicles.

The NFCRC is pleased that Toyota Motor North America and FuelCell Energy, two key stakeholders in the hydrogen future, are today collaborating to launch this remarkable milestone in the transition to carbon free transportation.

About the National Fuel Cell Research Center at the University of California, Irvine: The Center was dedicated in 1998 by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the California Energy Commission (CEC) to (1) accelerate the development and deployment of fuel cell technology, (2) enable the stationary and mobile fuel cell market, (3) address market hurdles, (4) convene government agencies, business and academia to develop effective public-private alliances, and (4) provide leadership in the preparation of educational materials and programs to help develop the national work force in fuel cell technology. The NFCRC focuses on both mobile and stationary fuel cells, the development of a hydrogen fueling infrastructure, and the interface between stationary fuel cell technology, transportation, and the emerging hydrogen economy.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 30,000 students and offers 192 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $5 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UCI, visit

Media access: Radio programs/stations may, for a fee, use an on-campus ISDN line to interview UCI faculty and experts, subject to availability and university approval. For more UCI news, visit Additional resources for journalists may be found at

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National Fuel Cell Research Center

Fuel Cells