Ms. Standridge, legal council for AC Transit has been aware for almost a year now that the Bloom Boxes owned by AC Transit, used to generate electricity to produce hydrogen (a HIGHLY inefficient process) for their fleet of 12 hydrogen fuel cell buses generates hazardous, HIGHLY TOXIC solid waste with sulfur; hydrogen sulfide, H2S to be exact. These fuel cell buses cost $87.6 million of taxpayer and PG&E ratepayer money. Ms. Standridge chooses to let the poor who live nearby the AC Transit (on San Leandro Blvd and Seminary Ave) site be exposed to this waste stream.

AC Transit Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bus

AC Transit Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bus

Because of our due diligence for the better part of these past 12 months, Lindsay Leveen and I now know by Bloom’s admission to the Board of Public Utilities in NJ, this waste ends up being hauled in sealed metal canister to an EPA licensed site for treatment in TX.  The waste is so dangerous that the sealed canister in never opened until it reached the EPA licensed hazmat site. Ms. Standridge is more than happy simply hide this like Bloom hides this.  She does not give a crap about people.  She does not want answers, or to fix this.  She draws her good paycheck and protects the Board of AC Transit not some poor folks living in East Oakland.

See my first offering to AC Transit’s Customer Feedback form back on 25 Sept 2014, below–which mind you took until 24 December 2014 to receive scathing information via the PRA process that indeed this technology is severely underperforming and emitting improperly manifested hazardous waste stream.

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I think AC Transit needs help regarding your hydrogen fuel cell application.

I think the help you need is in understanding thermodynamics and economics, not buying buses.  I understand you purchased 400 kW of Bloom Boxes to provide electricity to an electrolysis unit that makes hydrogen from water; where the hydrogen will be used in a fleet of fuel cell busses. I also understand you are making claims that you produce carbon free hydrogen as the gas feeding the Bloom Boxes is biogas.

Some facts:

  • The Bloom unit is at best 45% efficient based on the higher heating value (HHV) of natural gas (NG).
  • The electrolysis unit is at best 66% efficient at producing hydrogen from water and electricity.
  • The combined efficiency (45% times 66%) equals 29.7% (~30%) of overall efficiency.
  • One can produce hydrogen by steam methane (CH4) reforming (what the first part of the Bloom Box does) with at least 75% efficiency.
  • AC Transit’s actions reduce the efficiency of producing hydrogen from 75% to 30% ==> They need to use 2.5 times as much NG to yield the same quantity of hydrogen.
  • This system cost AC Transit over $6 million.
    • $4 million given to Bloom Energy.
    • $2 million to the vendor of the electrolysis unit.
    • For the production of the same quantity of hydrogen, a steam methane reformer (SMR) and pressure swing adsorption (PSA) unit for approximately $1 million in total could have been used.
    • This unit would only use 40% of the NG.

Question:  Why take the reformed gas containing hydrogen, run it through a fuel cell to generate electricity, and then take the generated electricity that came from hydrogen in the first place to again produce hydrogen in a electrolysis unit???!!!????

Wasting 2.5 times the precious biogas that was needed to simply make the hydrogen is BEYOND embarrassing. I would like to hear your justification for this complete waste of a vital resource.

I await your reply. Thank you in advance.

I also recently came across this affirmation from Mr. Telsa Motors, Elon Musk, which follows:


At this year’s Automotive News World Congress, Elon Musk (admittedly far from a neutral party) called hydrogen “extremely silly”—perhaps the most polite in a long and continuing string of dismissals from the Tesla head. It makes little sense, Musk pointed out, to go through the trouble of using even renewable electricity to generate hydrogen fuel, when you could just put that energy directly into a battery pack.

It makes even less sense when you have to build new, expensive hydrogen filling stations to do it—then spend years hoping that demand for them will materialize.