They don't mention the need to compress the hydrogen prior to transportation - that's quite an energy intensive task. I wonder why they don't attach a electricity generating fuel cell at the end of the process to reduce the compression required and simply produce easily exportable electricity (and pure water). It's a great idea to use high temperature plasma to break up pretty much any substance. There's no reason it has to just be organic and plastic: there's a case for recycling electronics this way. With electronics, the resulting dust would be high is all sorts of metals which could be refined back in to useful raw materials. That could save the planet from some of the more obnoxious mining practices.
Why would they dismantle the existing plant in PA, instead of continuing to produce Hydrogen from it?
That's excellent news! But does it take into account getting the Hydrogen to the filling stations, including (as dphiBBydt has mentioned) compression and then truck transport? I'm still not sold on the safety aspect, if someone blows up a gasoline truck it's bad news, but if someone blows up a Hydrogen truck, isn't it far more explosive (as in, the reaction is much faster)? Same for car fuel tanks as gasoline isn't under pressure the way H has to be. But progress is progress and I love to see it.
No heavy metals? You mean the process of full molecular disassociation to atomic elements also fissions heavy metal elements into lighter ones? Wow...
mary o'g
That is great. As well as reducing landfill problems and getting cheaper energy, it is important to destroy what is in the landfills, incubating our next pandemic...diapers, kitty litter, medical waste, rotten food, etc. I am wondering if something similar could be done for sewage, which is a terrible waste of water and another worry for pandemic spread.
If the plant in Pennsylvania was working properly why was it dismantled?
Scott Weinberg
Loz, I know there is a dead line for everything, but sure would be nice to look further into the details. examples- "3.8 million kg per year, while processing up to 42,000 tons of recycled waste per year" So we get 8,379,000 lbs of H out of 84,000,000 lbs of trash? so really, weight wise, 90% still goes in the hole? yes? and 230,000 +/- lbs per day (raw) 365 days of the year have to fit through the machine of this size? And it was mentioned that "tires" could be part of this, would this be the first utilization of tires without toxic release? Just curious--the other questions were good too. Lets talk about all sides of this, not just the GREEN side.
It appears their numbers are extremely optimistic. To keep from ionizing things that shouldn't be part of the stream (radioactive parts of smoke detectors, heavy metals in electronics) they are going to do much more than that one line 'carefully sorted' waste material...either they need quite a few people sorting the trash material or they need to show where the non-biological waste materials that aren't H2 are going. Feasibly, all the waste gases they have could be compressed and sold for research and manufacturing processes. But $2.00/kg? Sounds too good to be true and in this case I will love to be proven wrong!
Douglas Bennett Rogers
It is hard to believe that there is enough unoxidized hydrogen in the waste stream to power this process let alone make it a viable energy source. It sounds a lot like a plan to use nuclear fusion to distill waste. In that case, energy is cheap and you are using a lot of it to recover materials.
Placing high carbon content solids in landfills IS CARBON SEQUESTRATION! They are pulling the stuff that should be left in the landfill (wood, paper, plastics) and turning it into CO2. Introducing O2 into the process is the same as burning it (creating CO2). This is precisely the opposite of what we should be doing. If anything, we should be pulling the wet solids (food waste, etc.) and pyrolizing it, before placing it in the landfill. Sigh. It is a mistake to develop fuel cell cars. Use fuel cells for grid management. Store the H2 created from excess energy production as NH3 (ammonia) for when the wind isn't blowing or the sun shining.