Back in December 2007, I talked about how two chemical companies in Canada were starting to capture the waste hydrogen when producing sodium chlorate. The H2 they had simply been burning off was enough to provide hydrogen fuel to 20,000 cars.
Now, another chemical plant is making a conversion so that it uses its hydrogen by-product rather than simply burning it off. The K2 Pure Solutions bleach plant in Pittsburg, California has teamed up with Ballard’s CLEARgen fuel cell system to use the waste hydrogen from producing bleach to create electricity for the plant.
In the past I’ve also talked about manufacturers such as breweries, wineries and candy makers turning their waste products into hydrogen that can either be sold on the open market for cars or used internally to power their facilities.
But, the chemical companies that are already producing hydrogen as a waste by-product and simply burning it off are a huge untapped market that makes sense economically and environmentally. Economically and environmentally the hydrogen can either be sold on the open market for cars that will reduce smog or used to replace some of their current electrical needs and replace energy generated from presumably nearby fossil fuel burning power plants.
Since some hydrogen car critics think that the only methods to produce hydrogen is through steam reforming of natural gas or electrolysis of water I would like to offer this as another alternative that has a potential far from being realized right now. Chemical companies that product hydrogen as a by-product and simply waste it need to be dealt with on a larger scale for their own economic benefits and our environmental benefits.