Fuel cells fueled by garbage are being used at a BMW plant in Greer, S.C. Five groups – the auto maker, the Energy Department, Ameresco, the Gas Technology Institute and the South Carolina Research Authority – are working together on the project. The latest sign of progress – and a big one it was – is that some of the plant’s fuel cell forklifts are using hydrogen produced by biomethane from a nearby landfill, according to Energy.gov.
This is the third step in the process. The first was to show that the approach was viable for large scale deployment. The second was to demonstrate that commercially-available technology could recover cell-quality hydrogen from a landfill. The third is the use of the hydrogen in material-handling forklifts. There is no difference in performance between those forklifts and those using gasoline.
Earlier this summer, IKEA activated a fuel cell system at its Emery, CA, retail location. The company for the first time converted biogas into electricity through fuel cells. Bloom Energy designed the system.