Here's the recipe: separate the water out of some sewage, leaving the biosolids behind. Then pipe those solids into airless tanks and let some microbes go to town. These bugs release a gas (roughly 60 percent methane, 40 percent CO2) which you can burn to power the plant where you're doing all this work but remember to send some of the methane to a tri-generation machine that leaves you with electricity, heat and hydrogen.
It might sound a bit complicated, but this process is working in prototype form at the Orange County Sanitation District's Fountain Valley waste facility in California, and hydrogen car drivers in the area - including those of the upcoming Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell CUV - can even power their rides from the end product. UC Irvine's National Fuel Cell Research Center's Jack Brouwer developed the process and he says reusing waste to move cars, "smells like money."
Hyundai will soon start leasing the H2 CUV for $499 a month ($2,999 down) for 36 months, including free hydrogen refueling and Hyundai's Valet Maintenance. The Korean automaker says it has had a surprising number of people express an interest in the vehicle. We wonder if a waste-powered hydrogen station will make fuel cell technology more or less appealing. Read more details over at the Korea Herald.