On August 9, 2012 I had talked about how Air Products was planning on turning wastewater to hydrogen in the United Kingdom. Today I would like to talk about how researchers at Oregon State University (OSU) are planning on turning wastewater to hydrogen in the United States.
According to OSU, “The new technology developed at OSU can now produce 10 to 50 more times the electricity, per volume, than most other approaches using microbial fuel cells, and 100 times more electricity than some.
“Researchers say this could eventually change the way that wastewater is treated all over the world, replacing the widely used ‘activated sludge’ process that has been in use for almost a century. The new approach would produce significant amounts of electricity while effectively cleaning the wastewater.”
Wastewater treatment plants are typically an energy consumer using approximately 3-percent of the electricity around the world produced by the developed nations such as the United States. This electricity mainly comes from consuming fossil fuels.
Now, what if all of the wastewater treatment plants across the globe went from being energy consumers to energy producers instead? Not only could these treatment plants produce enough electricity for themselves, but they could also sell the excess electricity and hydrogen as well, making them a very green source of renewable energy worldwide.
The researchers at OSU have stepped in something good this time. And instead of scraping it off their shoes, it will be as good as money in the bank.