Army Funds InnovaTek for Portable Power Technology



RICHLAND, WA - The U.S. Army is looking for a solution that replaces batteries for powering portable electronic devices and InnovaTek has the answer – a miniature fuel processor that produces clean hydrogen from butanol for a fuel cell.  After successfully completing a Phase I feasibility study of its technology InnovaTek has received word from the Department of Defense (DoD) that the Company was selected to receive $750,000 for the second phase of research and development.  The award will be made through the DoD Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program.  The Company will partner with Indiana University who will help develop the catalyst for the process.

Portable electronic devices such as night-vision goggles and GPS systems are being used increasingly by the military.  Like all consumer electronics users soldiers get irritated by problems with power supply. The batteries run out quickly and require continuous replacements or take a long time charging. In the military such problems could even be life-threatening.  Fuel cells, which convert chemical energy to electrical power, could significantly improve the confidence in using electronic devices.Their quiet operation and high efficiency provide an ideal solution for portable electric power generation for a wide range of military and commercial applications.  However, the supply of hydrogen gas to the fuel cell at the point of use remains a problem. 

To meet this need InnovaTek has designed a catalytic micro-structured reactor that produces hydrogen from renewable butanol.  Butanol is an organic alcohol that can be produced through the fermentation of sugars and starches present in organic feedstock such as algae or agricultural by-products.  To be competitive with batteries and conventional internal combustion powered generators, the fuel cell system must have better power density and specific power as well as similar durability.  Through the use of micro-components, advanced membranes, and a proprietary catalyst InnovaTek’s technology will be extremely compact and efficient.

In addition to supplying the military’s portable energy requirements, the proposed technology will also provide an alternative to batteries for portable consumer electronics where long duration performance is desired.  An additional advantage of the proposed technology is the ability to generate power using domestic renewable fuels, providing the means to greater energy security and environmental benefits.

About InnovaTek, Inc.

InnovaTek, Inc. provides engineering solutions and creates products for sustainable power.  The Company is a leader in fuel processing technology and advanced catalysts for hydrogen production from petroleum and renewable fuels. InnovaTek’s vision is to use innovative non-combustion catalytic technologies to move the world away from wasteful fossil fuel combustion and toward clean, efficient electrical energy generation from renewable, sustainable biofuels, providing a path for a better quality of life for future generations.   The Company is developing integrated fuel cell products for electric vehicles, auxiliary power systems and distributed energy applications.  Learn more about InnovaTek at