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TUESDAY JUNE 20, 2006 - CHICO, CA Brewery representative Charles Kyle bakes in 100 degree California heat along with temperature-controlled fermentation tanks at the Sierra Nevada brewery as four 250 kilowatt fuel cell power units generate electricity to run the company's entire production plant including the tank cooling on Tuesday, June 20, 2006. In 2005 the Sierra Nevada Brewery installed the fuel cell power units to supply electric power and heat to the brewery's production process. The fuel cells run on a combination of natural gas and bio-gas (methane) and the company is working to capture and use the methane produced from its own water treatment facility..Hydrogen fuel cells combine hydrogen with oxygen across a catalytic membrane to produce electricity which is then used to power an electric motor. Considered a 'green' power supply because it has no other by products except for heat and water critics are skeptical about what the hydrogen source is; fossil fuels like natural gas and petroleum are often stripped of hydrogen in order to run fuel cells, something critics state is not very 'green' or sustainable.
- © Copyright 2006 Tim Matsui, All Rights Reserved
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