The advantages of fuel cell systems on naval surface vessels are generally based on their low emissions, high comfort and high efficiency. Today the NATO-logistic fuel for naval ships is F76 marine diesel fuel. Because of its availability and the fact that the use of hydrogen onboard ships would require a much higher storage volume, the reforming of F76 diesel fuel is essential for the implementation of fuel cell systems on naval surface vessels. The DESIRE-project has been performed from 2001 until 2004 to demonstrate the feasibility of the reforming of F76 diesel fuel into a hydrogen-rich gas suitable to be utilized in PEM-fuel cells. A steam reformer system has been realized in the project. A small PEM-fuel cell has been coupled to the reformer system and operated successfully. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.