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California Fueling Station Harnessing Methane Gas
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January 02, 2013

California Fueling Station Harnessing Methane Gas

By Oliver VanDervoort
Contributing Writer

Fuel Cell technology is hardly brand new in the green technology field. As a matter of fact, working on finding new kinds of fuel cell tech is perhaps the oldest of the entire sector when you get right down to it. What might be new is a kind of fuel cell that not only powers a new kind of car, but the fueling station itself. This new kind of fuel cell would take the fumes from methane gas and transform them into a clean fuel that will basically kill two birds with one stone.

Methane emissions are becoming more of a problem every day. This particular gas has become one of the top villains when it comes to talking about melting the polar ice caps. This is the stuff that tends to leak out when large companies go about their fracking business and it’s the stuff that emits ever so slightly from landfills. This is the stuff that no one wants to have in the atmosphere, yet it tends to end up there anyway. Methane also comes from wastewater plants and that’s where the new fuel cell technology is showing what it can do.

National Fuel Cell Research Center at University of California at Irvine has put together this new kind of fuel cell power station. The power station works by separating out the methane gas that is produced during the wastewater treatment process. The gas is shunted into high-temperature fuel cells and then the left over hydrogen is sent into the fueling station itself.

If this fuel cell technology is as successful as early tests have shown it to be, it could be one of the answers toward turning something that is incredibly harmful into the environment, into something that works to save it.

"We hope the public can see this and say, 'Wow! It is not something of the far-out future,' George Jetsen, if you will. It is here today and it is deployable today," Tom Mutchler of Air Products (News - Alert) and Chemicals, a sponsor and developer of the project, recently told the media when interviewed about the project.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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