Poo fuelled cars set to hit roads

Posted on Feb 25 2014 - 11:04pm by IBC News

Washington, Feb 25: Hyundai has recently announced plans to begin leasing a new vehicle this spring, which will be powered by processed sewage.

Last fall, Tesla’s Elon Musk was calling hydrogen fuel cell technology for vehicles “bullsh*t.” He meant that as an insult, saying it’s a dangerous gas more suitable for rockets than for cars. But it’s almost literally true.

In a few weeks Hyundai will begin leasing a new Tucson Fuel Cell crossover vehicle that runs on hydrogen gas derived from excrement, Discovery News reported.

The complex process to convert waste from toilets and sinks in Southern California into hydrogen comes from scientists at UC Irvine’s National Fuel Cell Research Center.

Essentially the solids are separated from water and fed to microbes that turn it into methane and CO2. Some methane gets filtered and piped into a special device, and then voila: hydrogen gas.

That hydrogen then goes directly into a public pump for refueling vehicles.

Hyundai said that the Tucson’s three-year lease – about 3,000 dollars down and then nearly 500 dollars a month – will include maintenance and unlimited hydrogen refueling at a dozen pumps around California. Its tank takes about three minutes to fill and is good for about 300 miles.

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