09-24-2016, 06:45 AM
Hydrogen fuel cell cars could help solve the global warming crisis, but nobody wants to buy them. Yoshikazu Tanaka, chief engineer of the Toyota Mirai, Toyota’s hydrogen fuel cell car, calls it a “chicken or the egg” problem: no one wants to purchase hydrogen cars because there are no hydrogen fuel stations, and nobody wants to build hydrogen fuel stations because there are no hydrogen cars.
But Toyota thinks it may have found a solution. For unlimited clean energy, it’s turning to one of the dirtiest places there is: the toilet.
In Fukuoka, Japan, the automaker is converting human waste into hydrogen to fuel the Mirai. The process is pretty simple. At a wastewater treatment plant, like the Fukuoka City Central Water Processing Plant, sewage is separated into liquid and solid waste. The solid waste, called sewage sludge, is exactly what it sounds like: a foul-smelling, brown lump. Most sewage sludge is thrown in landfills...snip
...If Tanaka has his way, Japan and the U.S. will soon follow suit. Currently, the Fukuoka plant produces 300 kilograms of hydrogen per day, enough to fuel 65 Mirai vehicles, Tanaka says. If all the biogas produced by the plant were converted to hydrogen, that number would jump to 600 cars per day. It’s a far cry from enough to achieve his goal of a “hydrogen society” that has no need whatsoever for fossil fuels, but it’s a good first step. Ideally, the process would be implemented in a scaled-up fashion at the wastewater processing plants of the world’s biggest cities.
Using wastewater is arguably the greenest way to make hydrogen, especially for big cities, where there are a lot of people who produce a lot of sewage, and most of that sewage, after it’s been treated, is discarded...snip
Full article: http://qz.com/785654/toyota-is-using-sewage-sludge-to-power-its-new-electric-car/