April 14, 2012

...AND CHEAPER...:

Gas Prices Too High? Have You Considered Sewage?: Hydrogen cars aren't taking off because hydrogen is hard to make and put in cars. But there is a lot of the gas in our waste treatment plants, and one in California will now let you fill up. Have they opened the door to a hydrogen economy? (Ben Schiller, Fast Company)

Jack Brouwer, associate director at the National Fuel Cell Research Center, at UC Irvine, claims the project is a world first, and could be just the start of many installations to be built around the world in the next few years. Eventually, communities could become hydrogen-independent, he says.

"I don't see people in their own backyards using their own waste to produce their own fuel. But communities that are large enough, that have a large enough flow of waste, could have a chance to do this with their waste streams," he says.

Brouwer says that, in the short term, sewage could produce 100% of the required volume of hydrogen to run fuel-cell cars. In the longer term, when there is greater demand, he estimates it could meet 10 to 15%.

Cars with fuel cells convert hydrogen into electricity to turn a motor, and potentially offer zero emissions, depending on the original fuel source. As well as sewage gas, it is also possible to produce hydrogen from wind and solar energy. But, Brouwer says sewage is preferable because it offers higher efficiency.


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Posted by at April 14, 2012 7:40 AM
  

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