Testing the POO-power emissions out. Could this get stinky??
Residents of Orange County now have a new option when filling up their
cars - fuels created from human waste.
An experimental project from the University of California hopes to
prove that human waste can have its uses as a fuel.
It is even working with car maker Hyundai, which is set to begin
leasing cars that can use the new fuel - for free.
Inventor Jack Brouwer developed the system wit fellow scientists from
UC Irvines National Fuel Cell Research Center.
They developed a sytem that feeds the solid waste to microbes.
The gas they give off is then burnt for power, while some is kept back
and used to fuel hydrogen powered cars.
However, one downside has been that the Orange County Sanitation
Districts Fountain Valley waste facility does have a certain unique
'It smells like money,' Brouwer optimistically told Bloomberg.
The team built the Fountain Valley project with about $10 million in
funding from sources including California government bodies and a U.S.
Department of Energy grant, and it makes enough hydrogen to supply
about 200 fuel-cell vehicles each day.
Brouwer's customers are soon set to increase.
Hyundai plans to begin leasing a fuel-cell version of its Tucson
crossover, which can travel about 480 kilometers on a tank of
The lease price will be $2,999 down and $499 a month, Hyundai said -
which includes free fuel from nearly a dozen hydrogen pumps around the
Hyundai is also partnering with Enterprise Rent-A-Car to make the
Tucson Fuel Cell available to consumers in the Los Angeles/Orange
Toyota, Honda, Mercedes-Benz and GM are also beginning to sell
hydrogen cars in the region.
The fuel-cell powered Tucson can drive for 50 miles per kilogram of
hydrogen, and its two tanks hold about 5.64 kilograms (12.4 pounds).
Costs of compressed gas in California range from about $5 to $10 per
kilogram, depending on the facility, and it takes around three minutes
to fill the tank.
Hyundai says it hopes the technology will become popular - and will
take on the electric car as the eco-vehicle of choice.
'Hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vehicles represent the next
generation of zero-emission vehicle technology, so were thrilled to
be a leader in offering the mass-produced, federally certified Tucson
Fuel Cell to retail customers,' said John Krafcik of Hyundai Motor
'The superior range and fast-fill refueling speed of our Tucson Fuel
Cell vehicle contrast with the lower range and slow-charge
characteristics of competing battery electric vehicles.
'We think fuel cell technology will increase the adoption rate of
zero-emission vehicles, and well all share the environmental
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