Leave it to a small car wash in Vancouver, British Columbia to be the first of its kind anywhere by installing a hydrogen fuel cell to power the facility and heat the water. In March 2007, Easywash will install a $1.2 million hydrogen fuel cell as part of a demonstration project.
Hydrogen for the car wash will come from the ERCO sodium chlorate plant in North Vancouver. Both ERCO and Easywash are part of the Integrated Waste Hydrogen Utilization Project (IWHUP). Before IWHUP, ERCO was using hydrogen as part of its manufacturing process and releasing the gas harmlessly into the atmosphere. Now, the gas will be captured and sold commercially to facilities such as that owned by Easywash.
Easywash will also be recycling and purifying wastewater and installing an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) system so that drivers can put a small tag on the backsides of their rearview mirrors allowing them to drive quickly and effortlessly through the Easywash facility. Easywash is also part of the BC Hydrogen Highway initiative so conceivably hydrogen cars will be able to be washed and cleaned at this hydrogen fuel cell facility.
Now, Jim Croce may have had the Workin’ at the Car Wash Blues, but the Easywash facility will have its owners and environmentalists seeing green, which will also make it a sunnier day for everyone else.