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    Here’s one descrition of how it works.

    After use, Caltech’s winning toilet flushes down to a holding tank under the floor, where the solid material sinks to the bottom, reports The Seattle Times. When the liquid reaches a certain level, it flows through a tube into a “sun-powered electrochemical reactor.” The reaction oxidizes the chloride in the urine, killing microorganisms in it. The resulting hydrogen is siphoned off, free to be used by the toilet’s owners as a fuel. The treated water is filtered and reused the next time someone sits on the toilet. The whole thing is powered with solar energy.


    Here’s another description, by the designers and builders of the winning design.


    From ABC Radio – PM.

    Aussies make major discovery in understanding photosynthesis, which means cheaper hydrogen as an non polluting energy source for transport, amongst many other uses.

    The secret of photosynthesis

    TIM PALMER: Two researchers at the ANU have used computer modelling to discover a natural method of producing cheap and limitless hydrogen.

    The chemists have identified the molecular process by which plants photosynthesise. That is, use light to convert carbon dioxide and water into sugar.

    They say they will soon replicate the process to produce hydrogen in the lab.

    Here’s the link for further reading or where you can listen to the interview online.


    Yes I read that and have seen a couple variations but all good ideas, There were even plans drawn up by a bloke in England about 15 years ago that worked much the same. Trouble is people don’t like change and it take a lot of effort to more or less sell the idea. There are lots of good plans and inventions that work in the electric field and hydrogen / methane from septic and waste products that can go to cooking etc.


    Hydrogen produced from sewage waste (methane), e.g. across the U.S. in the future is expected to supply hydrogen for a few hundred millions hydrogen fuel cell cars.

    This is what “HIT Business Research Group” in Japan is doing right now.

    Japan Blue Energy Co., Ltd.

    Japan Blue Energy Co., Ltd. – The completion ceremony of the Blue Tower, the first commercial biomass hydrogen production plant in the world, owned by IDEX Eco Energy Co., Ltd. was held on 17th October.


    Just glancing at the paper on my way to closing down for the night, and I’m so excited to see this report that I had to share it. I had no idea hydrogen-powered vehicles are so far advanced:

    As Mercedes-Benz’s entry for this year’s Los Angeles Design Challenge, which imagines a Highway Patrol Vehicle for the year 2025, the Ener-G-Force proposed driveline consists of four wheel-mounted hydrogen-powered electric motors. Water held in containers on the roof and a so-called Hydro-Tech Converter provide electricity stored in batteries within the concept car’s broad sills, which also act as tread plates. Mercedes-Benz projects a range of up to 800 kilometres. The quote is near the end and is the only part that talks about the fuel source. The rest is rev-head-ery… I think.



    Most or many car makers, certainly all of the major ones, expect to have hydrogen powered electric cars for sale by 2015, particularly for Europe.

    BMW, Daimler, Fiat, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Nissan, Renault, Peugeot, Shanghai Automobile Industry Corporation, Toyota, Van Hool, Volkswagen, Mercedes Benz.

    In Europe, Japan and the state of California already have refuelling stations.

    European Union Hydrogen Highway

    Pike Research report Fuel Cell Vehicles

    Fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) are part of the continuum of electric drive technologies, which are projected to capture an increasingly large share of the global passenger car and transit bus markets. For the passenger car market, fuel cells offer the benefits of zero emissions operation without the range and charging limitations of pure battery electric vehicles (BEVs). The fuel cell car market is now in the ramp-up phase to commercialization, anticipated by automakers to happen around 2015. The primary barriers for this market are cost and infrastructure deployment. Early adoption is likely to be focused in Japan, Germany, and California, where there is significant infrastructure investment planned.


    New Holland NH2 Hydrogen Electric Powered Tractor

    Hydrogen Tractor wins Gold, Heads to SIMA 2009

    A New Holland tractor powered by Nuvera fuel cells, won gold at the SIMA Innovation Awards, a competition that precedes the SIMA 2009 agriculture show taking place February 22 – 26, 2009. The selection committee, comprised of 15 experts from six countries reviewed 154 innovations submitted by SIMA 2009 exhibitors and selected 25 of these for awards based on their ability to usher in growth and competitiveness in the agriculture field. The fuel cell tractor, called the NH2, is powered by a Nuvera 60 kW fuel cell stack sold to the Fiat Group (the parent company of New Holland) in 2005.


    That’s such encouraging news. Thanks Bullseye.


    Before we get excited by Hydrogen and nothing to do with the rare earth minerals required to build the fuel cells.(although that is a major stumbling block)

    Whats the EROEI on hydrogen? (some say it takes more energy to produce it than you gewt from burning it)

    quite a good article


    Hall guesses you’d need an EROEI of at least 5 to continue western civilization.

    Tad Patzek at LBNL and U.C.Berkeley, has not been able to get funding for a project which would determine a consistent thermodynamic description of all major energy capture schemes, both biological and fossil, so that we could compare apples to apples.

    This would be a simpler way than EROEI to see what energy sources might replace fossil fuels, because EROEI gets endlessly bogged down in which inputs of energy to include or exclude – boundary issues.

    Patzek wrote me that one of the reasons he suspects he can’t get funding for this is that “no one wants to know that they may be working on a senseless project, such as industrial hydrogen from algae.

    Charles Hall, at SUNY, who’s written some of the most important papers on EROI for decades now, has gotten a total of $800 in grant money to study EROI. He believes it’s too political an issue.



    Snags has pointed out the one big stumbling block to a hydrogen economy. The EROI on Hydrogen is very poor and often negative. Electrolysis of water takes more energy than will be produced by burning the hydrogen. Cracking methane or other hydrocarbons is better but emits carbon…

    Yes you can use solar power to crack water and make hydrogen but I have always felt that you would be better off just using the electricity directly and not having the wastage of making hydrogen.

    Hydrogen isn’t a fuel in the normal sense. Its a way of transporting electricity. There are losses in the conversion from electricity to hydrogen and losses in the conversion back again.

    It is a very efficient way to transport electricity. Much better than current batteries but from an efficiency viewpoint I always wonder whether investment in better battery technology will be the way to go. And it won’t need a new distribution network.




    The snowy mountain hydro scheme is basically a battery,they use brown coal power to pump water up hill into a dam and release it at peak time to run hydro to power the city.

    It takes more than 3 times more energy to get it up than it makes coming down,but the profit is in sending it up with cheap off peak and dropping when the price is high.

    Similar “batteries” could be implemented using green energy to drive the water up hill into tanks/dams etc.


    ERoEI again… :whistle: 🙂

    Here’s a question. I know the answer to this, have mentioned it a few times, it’s easily obtainable from the net, the answer is also within this forum.

    What forms of “energy invested” or “energy expended” are not to be used in calculating ERoEI?


    You cant escape it. :tup:

    If it costs more energy to produce than what it delivers its dead in the water.

    If its so close that its uneconomic its also dead in the water.

    Though people will make plenty of money from desperate governments and gullible investors along the way.


    It is quite interesting just what one can do if they feel like it. While this should be done with caution. My son was playing around with car airials and made one that increased reception a 1000 fold. Well from local radio station to 2000 klm just by making a different design and and having a large booster coil in the car. While it would not be legal because it affected TV reception with nearby houses. It also gathered enough electricity from the air to light up a LED.

    Just like growing fruit and veggies under pressure and more oxygen will produce very large fruit and veggies.

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