Methane Hydrates/Waste = Hydrogen Fuel

 

The worlds nearly 2 Billion Cows produce the majority of harmful methane gases

The worlds nearly 2 Billion Cows produce the majority of harmful methane gases….

     

     

   

 

Everyone is talking about Methane gases and their impact on Global Warming. How much global warming is really effecting the environment via harmful emissions is still an arguable debate, and one that I am not getting into at this time. However, what we do know is that methane emissions make up the majority of harmful harmful green-house gases. These sources range from the daily excrement of nearly 2 billion cows to waste water plants.

 

As recently reported on ABC News, there has been a demonstration turning methane, produced by waste water treatment, into a usable fuel for cars and electricity at the same time. This process routes the methane produced by the waste water plant into high-temperature fuel cells. Being that the molecular make-up of Methane is CH4 (1 part Carbon, 4 parts Hydrogen); the hydrogen fuel is then separated and sent through tubes directly to a filling station. A treatment facility in California is now fueling up to 150 cars a day AND supplying it’s own electricity at the same time.

   

 The National Fuel Cell Research Center at University of California/Irvine opened the station in conjunction with and support of the Orange County Sanitation District. The technology is expected to produce hydrogen fuel that competes with the cost of gasoline. The cost effectiveness is especially important to compete with gasoline since The Environmental Protection Agency finalized rules to nearly double the fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks by 2025 to 54.5 miles per gallon!

 

 In the fall of 2012 President Obama approved research and developmental funding for a new source of natural gas, methane hydrates. He described this as “the world’s largest untapped fossil energy resource”.

 

Methane Hydrates are 3D ice-lattice structures found in on-shore & off-shore ocean sediments worldwide. When melted, these structures turn into liquid water and release methane molecules as a gas. The grant follows a successful attempt from April 2012, when many large companies working together, to include ConocoPhillips, sepatated natural gas from methane hydrates.

 

If we can get the rest of the world’s wastewater treatment facilities on board (and estimated 22,000 in the USA alone), we will be well on our way to a greener planet. In addition, there are now some farmers using the excrement of their cows to perform a similar process, thus producing the electricity needed to operate the farm.

 

Turning waste into useable hydrogen fuel energy is a true definition of recycling!