In addition to grain silos on a farm, passersby may soon find H2Silos as well. The design concept basically uses a silo design with a solar panel on top that splits water in the center to create hydrogen and oxygen.
The hydrogen can be used to refuel hydrogen powered tractors and other farm (and home) vehicles. At the bottom of the silo is even an oxygen bar that many farmers may find refreshing. The H2 Silo was designed to reside in McCoy, Washington and help out the Palhouse area which has had its wheat farming industry devastated by the introduction of petrochemicals since the 1950’s.
Now, this design concept by Koren Bras of Charlotte, North Carolina, is not as far-fetched as it sounds. In the past I’ve talked about producing hydrogen from farm animal manure and urine.
I’ve also talked about the hydrogen / diesel hybrid tractor in Minot, North Dakota and the New Holland hydrogen fuel cell tractor. Hydrogen-powered forklifts and palette trucks are already being sold commercially.
In fact the world’s first fuel cell vehicle in history was not a car, rather it was a 1959 Allis-Chalmers farm tractor, developed by Harry Karl Ihrig. Placing hydrogen powered vehicles and fueling stations right on the farm will help reducing the carbon footprint of the farming industry and also help us take one step forward in the area of energy independence from hostile foreign nations.