The EMPOWER project kicks off in Espoo


The kick-off meeting of the European project "EMPOWER - European methanol powered fuel cell CHP" took place Tuesday, 4 February 2020, in Espoo, at VTT.

The EMPOWER project will develop, manufacture and validate a methanol fueled 5 kW combined heat and power (CHP) system based on high temperature PEM fuel cell technology. The project will enhance the system efficiency to target the mini-CHP market and provide a cost competitive and low carbon option. The developed system will be validated and demonstrated for six months at the site of an end user. Target customers include end users from the industrial, construction and defence segment.

Advantages of using methanol in a high-temperature PEM fuel cell CHP system include reduced greenhouse gas emissions, cost-effective and high-density on-site energy storage and noise reduction. Methanol can also be distributed through existing infrastructure. Renewable methanol can be produced from a wide range of feedstock, such as biomass, agricultural and municipal waste, and reduces CO2 emissions as well as eliminates nitrogen oxide, sulfur oxide and particulate emissions.

The project is coordinated by VTT with the partners Blue World Technologies ApS (DE), Catator Ab (SE), Chemical Engineering Department of Universidade do Porto (PT) and THT Control Oy (FI). In addition to project coordination, VTT is developing methanol reformering technologies and supporting project partners in fuel cell stack adaption and system integration, commissioning and demonstration.

EMPOWER is receiving EU funding of 1.5 M€ from the the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) programme under grant agreement no. 875081. The Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, Hydrogen Europe and Hydrogen Europe research.

Read more about the project and upcoming results at