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Sewage Powers Up Industrial Plant, Provides Transportation Fuel

The contents of your toilet could soon be powering your car and helping to provide other transportation fuel.

FuelCell Energy Inc. is operating the world's first "tri-generation" plant that converts sewage into electrical power for an industrial facility and renewable hydrogen for transportation fuel.

The system runs on anaerobically digested biogas from the Orange County, Calif., Sanitation District's municipal waste water treatment plant. A 300-kilowatt-hour molten carbonate fuel cell uses the bio gas to produce heat, electricity and hydrogen—making it a "tri-generation" system.

Hydrogen produced by the fuel cell is captured, compressed and sent to an on-site public hydrogen filling station for fuel-cell vehicles to use. The energy station produces approximately 100 kilograms of renewable hydrogen per day, which is enough to fuel up to 50 cars.

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