Fuel cell system gets TST-Timco's juice flowing ... and it's clean

Oct 27, 2006 | 11:04 AM | Michael Marley

TST Inc.'s Timco division took a step into the 21st century of power generation earlier this month when it fired up a fuel cell power system to produce electricity at its secondary aluminum smelter in Fontana, Calif.

"Fired up" might not be the best words to apply to the system, which uses natural gas but, oddly enough, does not burn the clean-burning fuel.

The fuel cells installed by TST create energy by converting natural gas into electricity without burning it. At the heart of the system is an electrochemical device that extracts hydrogen from natural gas. Other types of fuel cells have been widely touted for future use in hydrogen-powered automobiles, although how soon that technology will come into use is still uncertain.

TST's Timco division produces secondary aluminum ingot and billet. In addition to its facility in California, the company operates a smelter in Sweetwater, Texas, and Standard Metals Recycling, a nonferrous scrap processor in Long Beach, Calif.....

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