Air Products, a leader in hydrogen fuelling technology has today opened a new and novel fuelling station which draws its feedstock from the municipal wastewater treatment plant at Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD).

A world’s first, the Fountain Valley renewable source generates hydrogen, electricity and heat. Moreover, it marks a significant opportunity for other biogas feedstock streams. Ed Heydorn, Business Development Manager of Air Products’ Hydrogen Energy Systems applauded the innovacy of the operation, he said, “This location will show how well this technology works and can be applied to wastewater and other waste applications to generate hydrogen. It is another first for Air Products in terms of the varied sources of feed from which hydrogen can be produced, stored and dispensed by our proprietary fueling technology.”

“Another plus is that renewable hydrogen is required to be in the mix in fueling stations in California,” continued Heydorn. “We look to this type of technology as a platform to meet the renewable requirement and to supply even cleaner hydrogen to the next generation of fuel cell vehicles.”

Heydorn also praised the public-private project collaboration that included the United States Department of Energy, which provided partial funding; OCSD; Air Products; FuelCell Energy; National Fuel Cell Research Center at the University of California, Irvine; California Air Resources Board; and South Coast Air Quality Management District.

But it wasn’t just Air Products who lauded the achievement. Professor Scott Samuelsen, Director for the National Fuel Cell Research Centre, University of California also applauded the facility. He said, “This is the epitome of sustainability by taking a human waste and transforming it into electricity which we need, and transportation fuel that we need, as well as thermal product heat that could serve the process of transforming the feed waste into productive product.”

“This project is at the nexus of the challenge for the next millennium associating how we handle in concert transportation, energy and water resources.”

Feedstock sources such as agricultural, food, and brewery wastes and landfill gas can benefit from this technology. If all of these available streams were converted to hydrogen, it could support fueling up to 200 million fuel cell vehicles in the U.S. with hydrogen and point to sustainable energy independence. 

Air Products was also involved with another fueling station opening in California three months ago and has 11 stations operating in the state overall.