[NEWS] Tapping Sewage to Fuel Cars?
– by Sarah Jerome, August 9, 2016, Water Online
Experts say the sewage-powered car market has potential in the U.S.
“In the U.S., most hydrogen is produced from natural gas. But a 2014 study by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory found that biogas from wastewater treatment plants, landfills, animal manure and industrial facilities could be used as a major source of hydrogen — enough to support 11 million fuel cell vehicles per year,” the Los Angeles Times recently reported.
Japan is already exploring waste-powered sustainability. The Japanese government, Mitsubishi, and Toyota have all invested in making it a reality.
“Starting late last year, drivers of vehicles like the Toyota Mirai and Honda Clarity have been able to roll up to the sewage plant and power up their hydrogen fuel cell cars at what you might call the world’s first toilet-to-tank filling station,” the report said.
“The station is working only 12 hours per day but already is making enough hydrogen to fill 65 cars daily — and that could grow to 600 if all the biogas at the plant was harnessed,” the report said.
Yoshikazu Tanaka, chief engineer of the Toyota Mirai, weighed in, per the report: “Sewage sludge is completely untapped today as a fuel source. We believe it’s very promising and would bring ultimate self-sustainability to communities.”
Seiichi Hirashita, manager of the Kyushu branch of Mitsubishi Chemical Engineering, added: “We hope to be able to take our advanced technology and sell it to Europe and the U.S.”