Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) has begun construction of an advanced hydrogen generation system at SunLine Transit Agency in Thousand Palms, Calif. The project, called H2 SilverSTARS, will produce hydrogen from renewable natural gas (RNG) and help fuel SunLine’s fleet of 17 hydrogen fuel cell electric buses. At scale, this demonstration project has the potential to provide clean hydrogen at any location adjacent to a natural gas pipeline.
The demonstration will test STARS’ technology, which was developed at the Pacific Northwest National Lab. The technology uses a combustion-free process, so that it produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared to a conventional steam methane reforming process. Since the compact system is based on low-cost 12×1-inch, 3D-printed reactor disks and heat exchangers, it can be easily installed at fueling stations to help meet the demand while advancing climate and clean air goals. After its installation, the first STARS system will produce up to 80 kilograms of clean hydrogen a day, that’s enough to fuel three of SunLine’s zero-emission buses per day.