Eco-friendly and cost-effective electric cars like Tesla will be on notice if the upcoming cheaper “green hydrogen” fuel goes mainstream and overtakes other fuels in the transport sector.
The Toyota Mirai has already hogged the limelight as a mid-size hydrogen fuel cell car. It is the first dedicated fuel cell vehicle (FCV) and sedan-like vehicle to be sold commercially.
Green hydrogen production has been costly so far. That is changing now with a huge green hydrogen facility coming up in California. In a manufacturing technology coup, it is going to be super cost-effective than existing energy sources including solar and wind energy.
Green hydrogen is considered the most promising energy medium that will replace oil in the entire transport industry, natural gas in the power industry, coal in the cement and steel plants.
Hydrogen from landfill waste
Using new technology, green hydrogen will be produced by the gasification of landfill waste.
“The world needs some good news, and we have it. Affordable, mass-produced, reliable green hydrogen is the missing link to decarbonize the world,” noted CEO of SGH2 Dr. Robert T. Do who is setting up a plant in Lancaster, California.
The Lancaster green hydrogen SGH2 facility is promising to transform thousands of tons of landfill garbage into hydrogen fuel.
The SGH2 process has been pioneered by NASA scientist Dr. Salvador Camacho and the CEO, himself a biophysicist. The new technology will gasify any waste, including paper, plastic, textiles, and rubber.
The company said the technology has been “vetted and validated by leading global institutions such as the U.S. Export-Import Bank, Barclays and Deutsche Bank, and experts of Shell New Energies.
The energy of the future
According to the MoU between the City of Lancaster and SGH2, the plant will produce 3.8 million kilograms of green hydrogen annually, a record volume, and process 42,000 tons of waste annually.
The breakthrough with the Lancaster plant will be that it will be producing green hydrogen on an ultra-cheap process bringing down existing costs of $10 per 13 kilos of hydrogen.
“We can produce green hydrogen four to five times cheaper than others, and is cost-competitive with the cheapest hydrogen made from fossil fuels,” noted Robert Do as quoted by Digital Trends.
SGH2’s gasification involves a “plasma-enhanced thermal catalytic conversion” wherein plasma torches operating at a high temperature of 4,000 degrees Celsius will dismantle the waste into its molecular compounds.
These compounds then bind into hydrogen-rich syngas free of soot and heavy metals, which will be centrifuged removing carbon particulates and acid gases.
The end product will be pure hydrogen. The Lancaster plant is aiming to transport all the green hydrogen output to the hydrogen refueling stations throughout California to supply to light-duty fuel cell cars and heavy-duty fuel cell buses.
If all goes well, the facility will break ground in the first part of 2021 and full-scale production will commence in 2023. Do co-founded his company with Camacho, a former NASA engineer who helped the space agency to devise a plasma heating technique to generate huge temperatures that would simulate a spacecraft’s re-entry to Earth’s atmosphere.