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January 2004

Department of Energy Considers System to Convert Waste to Energy

Wilton, CT— Startech Environmental Corporation announced that it has signed a contract valued at approximately $500,000 to produce and demonstrate a commercial-size StarCell™ system for the U.S. Department of Energy to produce hydrogen derived from processing waste through the Startech Plasma Converter™. The work will be performed in Startech’s Technology Park facility in Bristol, Connecticut with the company’s StarCell partner, Media and Process Technology Inc. The program is scheduled for completion in six months.

Waste will be put into the Startech Plasma Converter where it will be irreversibly destroyed and converted into Plasma Converter Gas (PCG)™. PCG is a clean synthesis gas mixture rich in hydrogen. The PCG will then be fed into the company’s StarCell system to separate the hydrogen from the PCG to produce StarCell Hydrogen™ for energy and power. The balance of the PCG, comprised principally of carbon-based molecules, can also be used for energy and power.

Karl N. Hale, Startech vice president of engineering, said, “The support of the Department of Energy will help move our StarCell system much closer to full scale production and deployment. Our principal product, the Plasma Converter System, safely processes wastes of all sorts. In a manner of speaking, when StarCell is joined to the Plasma Converter, you can literally throw banana skins in one end and get hydrogen out the other.”

StarCell is the company’s proprietary ceramic filtration system; it is not a fuel cell. It is a patented hydrogen-selective membrane filter that separates the hydrogen from the Plasma Converter Gas (PCG)™. PCG is the synthesis-fuel gas mixture, produced by the Plasma Converter when it processes waste.

The Startech Plasma Converter™ destroys wastes by its pollution-free process of molecular dissociation during which it forms those wastes into valuable commercial products that include PCG. It is a clean synthesis gas mixture, rich in hydrogen. PCG is a valuable syn-gas as it is, but StarCell increases its value by its ability to pull out the hydrogen.

StarCell Hydrogen can be used in the emerging “distributed power generation” markets as a low cost, pristine fuel to power automotive, stationary and portable fuel cells, as well as internal combustion engine vehicles.

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 only heat and H2O...water. It produces pollution-free electricity in fuel cells.

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 liquified 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. The ‘Plasma Converter-StarCell Process’ will be helpful in opening the way to a Hydrogen Economy by increasing the availability of low-cost hydrogen to meet the expanding demand.

It may be helpful to recognize that traditional hydrogen reformation processes require purchases of fossil fuel feed stock that impact the cost and availability of hydrogen. StarCell Hydrogen doesn’t have that problem. The plasma converter market is made up of customers who generate waste, and customers who process waste. Many wastes are excellent feed stock 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.

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