Havelstoff – hydrogen from the Havel region

Trash, © Shutterstock
A copious amount of trash is readily available, © Shutterstock

Producing high-purity hydrogen from the blades of decommissioned wind turbines is a most ingenious idea. If this can be scaled up successfully, it would solve a number of challenges in one fell swoop: For one thing, it would save the effort of shredding, recycling or otherwise disposing of old blades. Instead their composite material could be usefully reclaimed. Secondly, it would open up an additional hydrogen source to help satisfy the rapidly rising demand for hydrogen. And thirdly, the process would result in an extremely clean form of carbon dioxide that could be used in various branches of industry. But before any of that is possible, a whole range of issues must first be overcome.

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A quiet, clean way to waste collection

Electric trash trucks in high demand

Bluepower Trash truck

Trash trucks are a bit of a standout among specialized vehicles, since they require energy for both powertrains and hydraulic systems. Fuel cells have long been known to be a very good fit for these trucks, allowing efficient, low-noise operation in residential areas. In 2011, Faun Umwelttechnik delivered a trash truck outfitted with a fuel cell-powered loader to Berlin‘s waste management company BSR (see HZwei, October 2011). This August, the company announced that after putting a second prototype to the test, it was now ready to bring the vehicle to market.

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