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Toyota to Turn Cow Manure Into Hydrogen to Back Its Fuel Cell Vehicle Push

Fuel cell cars and trucks are a tiny piece of the U.S. clean vehicle market, due in no small part to the limited number of hydrogen fuel stations in California, one of the few places they’re sold. To help fix that Toyota is building a first-of-its-kind refinery to make large quantities of the zero-emission fuel from a dirty source: cow manure.

Toyota to Turn Cow Manure Into Hydrogen to Back Its Fuel Cell Vehicle Push

The company that sells Camry-sized Mirai fuel cell sedans and operates a hydrogen semi at the Port of Los Angeles said Thursday at the Los Angeles Auto Show that it’s building a renewable hydrogen generation station at the Port of Long Beach that will produce 1.2 tons of the fuel per day and 2.35 megawatts of electricity — extracted from methane that’s a byproduct of dairy cattle poop. It’s the first megawatt scale, 100-percent renewable “Tri-Gen” refinery and will provide all the power needed at the logistics facility at the port that processes Toyota vehicles arriving in the U.S. from Japan, the company said.

“For more than twenty years, Toyota has been leading the development of fuel cell technology because we understand the tremendous potential to reduce emissions and improve society,” Doug Murtha, Toyota’s North American group vice president for strategic planning, said in a statement. “Tri-Gen is a major step forward for sustainable mobility and a key accomplishment of our 2050 Environmental Challenge to achieve net zero CO2 emissions from our operations.”

Hydrogen is compelling as a clean fuel owing to its abundance and high energy content, but producing it without creating carbon pollution, compressing it under high pressure and distributing it for use in vehicles has proven to be a challenge. As a result, it’s lost ground as a near-term option for many automakers that are prioritizing battery power instead. It's also drawn sharp criticism for years from Tesla’s Elon Musk, an avowed foe of automotive hydrogen fuel cells.

In advance of the unveiling of Tesla’s Semi concept last month, Musk even seemed to make a dig at Toyota’s Class 8 "Project Portal" hydrogen truck that started operating at the L.A. port earlier this year.

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The company that sells Camry-sized Mirai fuel cell sedans and operates a hydrogen semi at the Port of Los Angeles said Thursday at the Los Angeles Auto Show that it’s building a renewable hydrogen generation station at the Port of Long Beach that will produce 1.2 tons of the fuel per day and 2.35 megawatts of electricity — extracted from methane that’s a byproduct of dairy cattle poop. It’s the first megawatt scale, 100-percent renewable “Tri-Gen” refinery and will provide all the power needed at the logistics facility at the port that processes Toyota vehicles arriving in the U.S. from Japan, the company said.

“For more than twenty years, Toyota has been leading the development of fuel cell technology because we understand the tremendous potential to reduce emissions and improve society,” Doug Murtha, Toyota’s North American group vice president for strategic planning, said in a statement. “Tri-Gen is a major step forward for sustainable mobility and a key accomplishment of our 2050 Environmental Challenge to achieve net zero CO2 emissions from our operations.”

Hydrogen is compelling as a clean fuel owing to its abundance and high energy content, but producing it without creating carbon pollution, compressing it under high pressure and distributing it for use in vehicles has proven to be a challenge. As a result, it’s lost ground as a near-term option for many automakers that are prioritizing battery power instead. It's also drawn sharp criticism for years from Tesla’s Elon Musk, an avowed foe of automotive hydrogen fuel cells.

In advance of the unveiling of Tesla’s Semi concept last month, Musk even seemed to make a dig at Toyota’s Class 8 "Project Portal" hydrogen truck that started operating at the L.A. port earlier this year.

Read Full Article

Toyota to Turn Cow Manure Into Hydrogen to Back Its Fuel Cell Vehicle Push