I got a link today from Kent over at the Tiny House Blog, via his newsletter, About a company In California that has been pioneering ahead in the field of Fuel Cells. The story was on 60 Minutes recently and today they had a “press announcement / release” type of event. The Basis of the whole technology is that they redesigned a fuel cell to use something other than Hydrogen to produce electricity. By reworking the Anode / Cathode / Base material. They can power it with natural gas, bio-gas and other more readily available fuels. They claim the CO2 produce this way is about half of what would be produced by normal “power plant” methods (coal). I dug around on the web for a few hours to get a handle on some of the numbers. The 60 minutes piece led you to believe it had no emissions…which is entirely wrong. What I did find is this great article that explains some of the costs / benefits to this system. The technology is still very new so we can all hope that these numbers will improve, but the bottom line is this still uses fuel…currently the test units are run on natural Gas….The real advantage to this is a reduction is emissions compared to coal generated power, and the decentralization of the generating facility.
You can check out the great article here about the costs and issues with this new technology.