Normally, I would talk about these two subjects in different blog posts. But, I wanted to show first how much time, energy and money is being spent on coming up with cost effective hydrogen production solutions and second the variety of methods companies are using in aggressively pursuing the hydrogen production issue.
First, I would like to talk about eHydrogen Solutions which has come up with its H-Solaris generator using sunlight to cost effectively split water and create hydrogen on demand. eHydrogen is using a type of synthetic photosynthesis to achieve this hydrogen production.
The company sees a vast future for this type of hydrogen on demand especially for the residential fuel cell market. The H-Solaris generator or something similar may also be used for on demand generation at hydrogen fueling stations.
Now, on the biogas front, FuelCell Energy, Inc. and Air Products have teamed up to build a hydrogen fueling station at the Orange County Sanitation District in Fountain Valley, California.
According to FuelCell Energy, “The system will be fueled with biogas from wastewater treatment operations and produce 300 kilowatts of power and up to 300 pounds of hydrogen per day. This hydrogen could be used for early market fuel cell applications such as back up power and forklifts and is sufficient to fuel roughly 100 fuel cell autos. The electricity will be available for use by OCSD for its operations.”
This is unusual for two reasons. First, I haven’t talked about many articles using biogas as a feedstock compared to other methods of producing hydrogen fuel. Second, the fact that they will be producing enough H2 to refuel 100 autos is much more than most demonstration hydrogen fueling stations that can handle less than a dozen autos a day.
The good news is that researchers are attacking the hydrogen production issue on all fronts including using combinations of wind, solar, geothermal, nuclear coupled with biogas, farm waste, water, steam, natural gas, coal, or chemical reactions using aluminum compounds, magnesium compounds and other compounds such as sodium borohydride to create pure hydrogen.
By addressing the problem at all possible angles, the solution may just be one or two breakthroughs away.