The hydrogen fuel plant comes to integrate wastewater treatment-biogas power, heat and fuel production to produce hydrogen from methane gas in Fountain Valley.
This fuel plant is equipped with fuel cell energy that transforms methane into hydrogen. Fuel cell gives also energy to generate almost 250 KW of electricity that could provide renewable power for wastewater treatment.
The Air Products technology uses also the hydrogen surplus to produce vehicle grade hydrogen fuel for 25 to 50 fuel cell vehicles each day. The wastewater treatment – hydrogen power, fuel and heat system could serve as model for other integrated waste treatment-biogas facilities in the future, according to Air Products. “This location will show how well this technology works and can be applied to wastewater and other waste applications to generate hydrogen fuel. It is another first for Air Products in terms of the varied sources of feed from which hydrogen fuel can be produced, stored and dispensed by our proprietary fueling technology,” said Ed Heydorn, business development manager for Hydrogen Energy Systems at Air Products.
“Another plus is that renewable hydrogen is required to be in the mix in fueling stations in California. We look to this type of technology as a platform to meet the renewable requirement and to supply even cleaner hydrogen to the next generation of fuel cell vehicles.”
This project is significant because it demonstrates that such a project can be realized through a public –private partnership. The hydrogen fuel plant results as a collaboration between United States Department of Energy, OCSD, Air Product, FuelCell Energy, National Fuel Cell Research Center from University of California, Irvine, the California Air Resources Board and the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
As the Professor Scott Samuelson, director of the national Fuel Cell Research Center at the University of California, Irvine said, “This is the epitome of sustainability by taking a human waste and transforming it into electricity which we need, and transportation fuel that we need, as well as thermal product heat that could serve the process of transforming the feed waste into productive products.”
“This project is at the nexus of the challenge for the next millennium associating how we handle in concert transportation, energy and water resources.”
The integrated design and technology of this project can be applied to other biogas feedstock such as agricultural, food and brewery waste streams or landfill gas. According to Air Products, if all this would be converted into hydrogen could supply fuel for 200 million fuel cell vehicles in US.