A University of California scientist calls it “the epitome of a sustainable technology,” or, in other words, “poop power,” the use of human waste to product hydrogen fuel to propel newly designed automobiles, among other uses. UC Irvine’s National Fuel Cell Research Center has teamed up with the Orange County (California) Sanitation District on an $8 million demonstration project that, when it opens this spring, will show that sewage plants can one day double as, well, gas stations, according to a report in the Orange County Register (http://www.ocregister.com/articles/fuel-district-hydrogen-2122433-sewage-methane). A smallcap company, FuelCell Energy, Inc. (http://www.fuelcellenergy.com, Nasdaq: FCEL) has teamed with a largecap, Air Products and Chemicals (http://www.airproducts.com, NYSE: APD) to create the device for UC Irvine and the sewage district.
Other municipalities and companies are also pursuing similar opportunities. In Idaho, which claims the distinction of the country’s third largest milk producer, government energy gurus are exploring ways to turn cow “pies” into energy to power cars, homes and turbines to generate electricity. And a host of other smallcaps are focused on developing fuel cells for use in the alternative energy market including Ener1, Inc. (http://www.ener1.com, Nasdaq: HEV) and Hydrogen Hybrid Corp. (http://www.hydrogenhybridcorp.com, Pinksheets: HYBD).