Development of an innovative auxiliary power unit for military purposes based on high-temperature PEM fuel cell and reforming technology for military logistic fuels – IAPUNIT

Principal investigator:

Dr. Gregor Dolanc


1.2.2019 - 31.10.2020


European Defence Agency (EDA) and the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Slovenia


The goal of the project is the development of a silent auxiliary power unit (APU) with a low thermal footprint, intended for the energy supply of military land vehicles. To reach the requirements, fuel cells are used to generate electricity. However, in this case, fuel cells are not fuelled by hydrogen as usual, but by widely available military logistic fuel (diesel with up to 3000 ppm sulphur content). The role of our research group and our collaborating partner the National Institue of Chemistry was the design and implementation of the most critical part of the system, i.e. the fuel processor, which converts the military logistic fuel to the hydrogen reach reformate gas that is converted into electricity by the fuel cell. Reforming military logistic fuel is challenging due to its complex chemical structure and impurities (sulphur). The prototype is completed and running.

Project partners:

  • TU Graz
  • Frauenhofer Gesellschaft – Institute for Chemical Technology
  • AVL List GmbH
  • Catator AB
  • National Institute of chemistry
  • Jozef Stefan Institute
  • Eindhoven University of Technology