Environmental Protection

See the Fuel Station of the Future

Photo courtesy of Air Products and Chemicals

Imagine pulling-up to a fuel station that supplies your car with clean, renewable fuel. Now imagine that, while you’re filling up, this same fuel-station just so happens to be providing power back to an entire industrial facility. Sound a little far-fetched? Perhaps, but, in a first-of-its kind milestone—a new fuel cell and hydrogen energy station in Fountain Valley, Calif., is doing just that.

Considered the world’s first tri-generation fuel cell and hydrogen station—the fuel cell used at the station, developed by FuelCell Energy, is a combined heat and power system that produces both hydrogen and electricity.

The Fountain Valley energy station, supported in part by a $2.2 million grant to Air Products and Chemicals from the Energy Department, runs on biogas generated by the Orange County Sanitation District’s wastewater treatment facility. In turn, hydrogen produced by the fuel cell system is sent to a fueling station able to support between 25-to-50 fuel cell electric vehicle fill-ups every day. The fuel cell also produces approximately 250 kW of electricity for use by the wastewater treatment facility.

“Innovations like this demonstrate how American ingenuity and targeted investment can accelerate breakthroughs in the hydrogen and fuel cell industry while driving the clean energy economy forward,” said DOE’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Renewable Energy Steve Chalk. “By providing the added value of electricity and heat, this approach provides a significant step in overcoming economic challenges with hydrogen refueling infrastructure.”

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