A BMW manufacturing plant in Greer, South Carolina (USA) demonstrated that it is possible to produce hydrogen from the landfill biomethane gas. This demonstration is first of its kind, which shows that hydrogen can be generated from the particular biogas source such as landfill gas.

The project was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy to let BMW and project partners Ameresco, Gas Technology Institute and the South Carolina Research Authority powere some of the facility’s fuel cell forklifts with hydrogen produced on-site from biomethane gas at a nearby landfill. Its goal to explore the economic and technical feasibility of converting landfill gas into hydrogen of sufficient purity to power fuel cell vehicles, and specifically hydrogen forklifts. The plant BMW plant in Greer, South Carolina has the world’s largest fleet of fuel cell forklifts. Fuel cell forklifts are more advantageous compared to standard forklifts powered by lead-acid batteries. Unlike batteries, fuel cells can be rapidly refueled in less than three minutes, boosting productivity by eliminating the time and cost associated with battery change-outs and charging that can take up to several hours.

Several of BMW’s material handling equipment units were successfully fueled with hydrogen produced in the project. This project confirmed that commercially-available technologies are available to recover fuel cell-quality hydrogen from a landfill gas source.

Foto: courtesy BMW

Source: energy.gov