Recycling cell

Published: Thursday 31 August 2000

A German utility company is using a fuel cell to recycle waste methane from a sewage treatment plant, at the same time generating electricity and thermal energy. gew Kln ag , the company that has set up the system at its plant, provides water and electricity to the town of Cologne. Introduced for the first time in Europe, the cell uses an electrochemical process to convert chemical energy into electricity and hot water. Each cell generates 200 kw of electricity (sufficient power for around 150 houses) and more than 700,000 Btu per hour of usable heat. Heat from the Cologne system will be used in the sewage treatment process. Because the fuel cell does not burn gas, its operation is virtually pollution-free. As the heat generated by the fuel cell is used in the waste-water process, the fuel cell doubles as a recycling machine. These fuel cell systems are currently in use in the us , Japan and 200 other locations globally.

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