One Step Closer To Hydrogen Dream


Western Hydrogen unveils pilot project plant with recent open house, creating clean energy through various feedstocks

Great Scott! Western Hydrogen has opened its doors bringing energy into the future.

The industrial corporation, which holds local land for a hydrogen project, held an open house last week to show off their new pilot plant, as well as technology that could be the future of the energy industry, according to Neil Carmata, president of Western Hydrogen.

"What the technology does, it's like the Back to the Future movies,"Camarta said. "They have this Mr. Fusion you put in garbage, and it creates energy.

"We don't have the time machine, but we have the Mr. Fusion. We put in all these thing, including dirty water, and out comes hydrogen."

The open house was an allhands- on-deck presentation that was attended by Mayor Gale Katchur, Fort Saskatchewan- Vegreville MLA Jacquie Fenske and Alberta's Minister of Energy Diana McQueen.

Camarta said it was important to have the support of local government, as he sees the Fort Saskatchewan area as a good place to build the future of this technology.

"Fort Saskatchewan will be our centre for innovation," he said. "I think we can rebrand this as 'Innovation Alley'. "

Camarta continued: "I think there are a lot of opportunities to innovate in the Fort Saskatchewan area. As we continue to expand that, I think we will be part of 'Innovation Alley' as we continue to grow, that will drive the jobs that go with it."

The pilot plant is a result of $50 million and seven years of work, and Camarta said it is all worth it, as the plant has proven that the technology used is capable of producing pure hydrogen in a clean way at a plant facility.

"We started in a southern Idaho lab," he said.

"We did a lot of work to prove it at a lab scale, and a couple of years ago, we decided it was show time, and we built a pilot plant — and so far, so good."

The plant's technology allows the company to produce pure hydrogen from waste materials, including dirty water.

Camarta explained this is important because, as hydrogen becomes a more widely-used source for energy, this technology will allow it to be produced on a large scale, and in an environmentally- friendly way.

"In countries where they are trying to develop a hydrogen economy, they are looking for cheap and clean hydrogen," he said. "Hydrogen is a very elegant fuel, because when you burn it, all you make is water. If you want to create energy without creation carbon monoxide, you use hydrogen."

Camarta added that the applications for hydrogen power are huge — the reach of which extends all the way to powering cars.

"Some countries now, like Germany, are pushing very hard to put in hydrogen refuelling stations,"he said.

"BMW already makes cars that can run on hydrogen."

The open house was held on Dec. 12 at the pilot plant on 113 Street and Range Road 220.

By: Aaron Taylor