WILTON, Conn., March 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Startech Environmental Corporation (OTC Bulletin Board: STHK
), a fully reporting company, announced today support for a legislative initiative by Senator Byron L. Dorgan (D - ND) in conjunction with the National Hydrogen Association to add the language to the upcoming Energy and Water Bill that provides financial and environmental incentives for the use of hydrogen in internal combustion engines (ICE).
Joseph F. Longo, CEO of Startech, said, "This feeds right into our own hydrogen programs. Running internal combustion engines on hydrogen has been our mantra for the past four years. The legislative initiative does not discredit fuel cells, it just brings greater visibility and emphasis to the contribution hydrogen powered internal combustion engines can make right now. The hydrogen our Plasma Converter(TM) produces from processing wastes is perfectly suited to internal combustion engines, as well as fuel cells. Startech demonstrated a hydrogen-fueled internal combustion engine pickup truck a few years ago driving it in and around the Bristol area of Connecticut.
"Waste put into Startech's Plasma Converter is irreversibly destroyed using a pollution-free process of molecular dissociation and converted into Plasma Converter Gas(TM) (PCG), a clean synthesis gas mixture rich in hydrogen. PCG is a valuable syn-gas as it is, but our StarCell(TM) system increases its value by extracting the hydrogen. StarCell Hydrogen(TM) can be used for energy and power. The balance of the PCG, comprised principally of carbon-based molecules, can also be used as a fuel for facility needs.
"One of the principal obstacles standing in the way of a hydrogen economy is the availability of inexpensive hydrogen. StarCell Hydrogen helps to overcome that obstacle. In a manner of speaking, when StarCell is joined to our Plasma Converter, one can literally throw banana skins in one end and get hydrogen out the other."
Following is the specific language provided by the National Hydrogen Association for the upcoming Bill.
Hydrogen Fueled Internal Combustion Engines
Findings: Hydrogen has far fewer emissions than traditional fuels even
when used in an internal combustion engine.
a). Internal combustion engines are a known and proven technology.
b). R&D has been performed to design conventional technologies to use
hydrogen's unique combustion characteristics in variably sized
c). Hydrogen internal combustion engines can qualify as near-zero
emission engines, will benefit the environment and can serve as a
bridge paving the road in developing the infrastructure need for the
more advanced technologies such as fuel cells.
d). Reciprocating or gas turbine internal combustion engines can be
variably sized and used for stationary power or transportation
e). Fuel cells have technological challenges which need to be overcome
before they are commercially viable.
f). The use of hydrogen in bridge technologies can provide experience
which will accelerate the investment and development of hydrogen
The transfer of knowledge gained will be beneficial as hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and stationary power applications continue their commercialization path.
Definitions: A qualified hydrogen internal combustion engine is defined as
a reciprocating or gas turbine engine which is fueled by hydrogen.
Financial Incentives: Incentives shall be given to promote the
development of hydrogen fueling infrastructure and encourage use of
existing and developing bridge technologies which will help support the
advancement of a more secure energy supply while reducing environmental
1. Fuel: An incentive shall be provided to consumers for the purchase of
hydrogen fuel for use in a qualified engine of 50 cents per gallon
equivalent for the applicable taxable year after the enactment of this
Act and for a period of four additional years.
For all sales occurring in the taxable year after enactment of this
Act, retail sales of hydrogen fuel shall be exempt from all sales
taxes and federal and state excise taxes for a period of ten years.
2. Stationary Power Production: For qualified engines used in distributed
stationary power production applications fueled by 100% hydrogen, or
by hydrogen and petroleum-based fuel blends comprised of at least 20%
hydrogen by volume which are placed in service after taxable year
2006, retailers receive a credit of 1 cent per kW of electricity
produced from a qualified engine fueled by 100% hydrogen; and a credit
of .5 cents per kW for electricity produced by hydrogen blended fuels.
3. Transportation Applications: For transportation applications, a
hydrogen fueled vehicle shall qualify as a clean fuel vehicle as
defined in the internal revenue code of 1986 and shall qualify for
credits not to exceed: $2,000 in the case of vehicles not currently
defined in the code; $5,000 for vehicles greater than 10,000 lbs. but
not greater than 26,000 lbs.; and $50,000 in the case of a truck or
van with a gross vehicle weight greater than 26,000 lbs. or any bus
which has a seating capacity of less than 20 adults (not including the
4. Environmental Credits: All qualified engine technologies fueled by
100% hydrogen or hydrogen blends which meet or exceed applicable
standards in the Clean Air Act shall also qualify for emission credits
in the case of certain tax-exempt organizations (such as municipal
power authorities and electric cooperatives), which can be traded,
assigned or used to offset debt payments.
5. Vehicle Fueling Property: For hydrogen dispensed and stored at a
refueling property in which hydrogen is produced from a clean fuel,
the credit is $150,000 which apply to property placed in service after
the enactment of this act.
What is StarCell?
StarCell is Startech's proprietary ceramic filtration system; it is not a fuel cell. It is a patented hydrogen-selective membrane filter that separates hydrogen from Plasma Converter Gas (PCG), the synthesis-fuel gas mixture, produced by the Company's Plasma Converter when it processes waste.
Beyond its use with the Plasma Converter, StarCell can also be used, stand alone, as a low cost method of separating hydrogen from the syn-gas produced by various coal gasification processes.
StarCell Hydrogen can be used in the emerging "distributed power generation" (DG) markets as a low cost, pristine fuel to power automotive, stationary and portable fuel cells, as well as internal combustion engine vehicles.
Why is hydrogen important?
The use of hydrogen to power vehicles eliminates tail-pipe pollution and dependence on foreign oil. Used to produce stationary power, it will help clean up the air and will be the critical contributor to the development of a pollution-free "distributed power generation" industry. Hydrogen, the most pristine of all the fuels, when combined with oxygen to produce power results in heat and water. Pound for pound, hydrogen contains more energy than any of the other fuels by far.
In addition to the importance of the role hydrogen will play in clean power, it is also a basic material used in many industrial processes to make many of the products we use in our lives every day.
How hydrogen is currently produced?
The sun and stars are almost pure hydrogen. The paradox is that while hydrogen is the most abundant material in the universe, it is not readily accessible. Nearly all of the hydrogen produced today is made from fossil fuels, natural gas among them. These hydrocarbon fossil fuels consist primarily of molecules made up of carbon and hydrogen. The products of reformation are hydrogen gas and carbon-gas species. U.S. industry produces about 55 million tons of hydrogen each year.
Hydrogen in your garbage can
Karl Hale, Startech VP of Engineering, said, "Most household and industrial wastes are packed with hydrogen. Even landfills can be mined so that the recovered trash can be processed by the Plasma Converter and StarCell systems to unlock an abundance of cheap hydrogen.
"In the process of safely destroying wastes, the Plasma Converter converts them into the hydrogen rich synthesis gas called PCG, at very little additional costs, in a process that is safer than environmental standards. This is a powerful commercial force for producing a low cost, renewable and pollution-free source of hydrogen.
"Converting renewable resources into hydrogen is an important goal of the hydrogen economy. Waste is a valuable, ever-present and increasing renewable resource. The use of waste for hydrogen will decrease our dependence on dwindling reserves of fossil fuels.
"One key to achieving a sustainable society and meeting the energy needs of the new millennium is the widespread use of hydrogen as the primary energy source. The concept is called the hydrogen economy. In the hydrogen economy, hydrogen - either liquefied or as a gas - is the principal source of chemical energy, replacing natural gas, heating oil, gasoline and other petroleum products. Applications include electrical generation, industrial process heating, residential heating, transportation fuel, and many more. In this view, the demand for hydrogen will grow dramatically as we move forward. We believe the Plasma Converter-StarCell process will help fuel the hydrogen economy by increasing the availability of low-cost hydrogen to meet the growing demand.
"It may be helpful to recognize that traditional hydrogen reformation processes require purchases of fossil fuel feed-stocks that impact the cost and availability of hydrogen. StarCell Hydrogen doesn't have that problem. Our Plasma Converter market is made up of customers who generate waste and customers who process waste. Many wastes are excellent feed-stocks for hydrogen. Customers who generate waste don't have the feed-stock expense when PCG is produced; as a matter of fact, they save the money they would otherwise pay to others to accept their waste. Customers who process waste get paid for accepting and processing the waste of others and also produce PCG. In either case, when the PCG is used in StarCell to produce hydrogen for sale, the customers can produce it at a much lower cost because they don't have the cost burden of fossil fuel feed-stock purchases.
"Our Plasma Converter is being marketed commercially now. In addition to the money gained processing waste in the Plasma Converter, our customers will also be able to make money using StarCell to sell hydrogen."
About Startech Environmental Corp.
Startech is a waste industry company engaged in the production and sale of its innovative, proprietary plasma processing equipment known as the Plasma Converter System. The Plasma Converter System safely and economically destroys wastes, no matter how hazardous or lethal, and turns them into useful and valuable products. In doing so, the System protects the environment and helps to improve the public health and safety. The System achieves closed- loop elemental recycling to safely and irreversibly destroy Municipal Solid Waste, organics and inorganics, solids, liquids and gases, hazardous and non- hazardous waste, industrial by-products and also items such as "e-waste," medical waste, chemical industry waste and other specialty wastes while converting them into useful commodity products that can include metals, surplus energy and also hydrogen for use and for sale. For further information, please visit http://www.startech.net or contact Steve Landa at (888) 807-9443, (203) 762-2499 x148 or [email protected].
Safe Harbor for Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements, including statements regarding the Company's plans and expectations regarding the development and commercialization of its Plasma Converter(TM) technology. All forward-looking statements are subject to risk and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Factors that could cause such a difference include, without limitation, failure of the customer to obtain appropriate financing for the project, general risks associated with product development, manufacturing, rapid technological change and competition as well as other risks set forth in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements contained herein speak only as of the date of this press release. The Company expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any such statement to reflect any change in the Company's expectations or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.
David Resnic or Brian DeMichele