Researchers at the Oregon State University College of Engineering have discovered an efficient way to produce hydrogen from different types of biowaste, including municipal sewage.
The process uses 75% less energy than the traditional water electrolysis method of producing hydrogen, and can be done at a much lower cost, making it a good candidate for hydrogen fuel production. In the lab, researchers are already close to the Department of Energy’s goal of $2 to $3 per gasoline gallon equivalent for hydrogen fuel.
The university describes the process like this:
“In these systems, naturally occurring microorganisms from sewage attach to the surface of an anode and degrade the waste in the sewage, in a device that is something like a battery. The waste decomposes, eventually leaving protons that migrate to the cathode, combine with electrons and generate hydrogen.”