Propulsion powered by plastic: the next source of hydrogen fuel?

Signal of change / Propulsion powered by plastic: the next source of hydrogen fuel?

By Carol Brighton / 16 Apr 2018

The UK’s PowerHouse Energy has designed a compact modular plant to produce hydrogen fuel derived from plastic waste. The company reports that their system “economically and efficiently processes a wide range of waste streams, including hazardous and toxic material, into usable energy without producing toxic by-products."

GasWorld reports that the first commercial plant will be developed in Chester this year and that the company plans to have 500 plants operating in the next 10 years.

So what?

As a leading source of greenhouse gas emissions, the transportation sector is in transition, with many major players now focusing on emission-free hydrogen systems. PowerHouse hopes to supply hydrogen to the growing list of fuel cell users, which now include the rail, bus, truck, shipping and importantly auto industries. Toyota, Hyundai and Mercedes all have fuel cell vehicles. Even the aviation industry is investigating the potential of hydrogen. 

With a lack of sustainable methods for dealing with plastic waste available, Powerhouse Energy are offering a solution that not only helps to eliminate waste, but provides a more environmentally friendly source of fuel in the form of hydrogen.

However, by turning waste into a commodity, is there a danger it will curb global efforts to drastically reduce the amount of waste plastic produced?

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What might the implications of this be? What related signals of change have you seen?

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