The city of London, like all big cities, generates a lot of waste. Finding somewhere to put all that trash has become an increasing problem in recent years as dumps fill up. Trash usually contains a lot of organic material (according to the organic chemistry definition of organic). That means lots of compounds based on carbon-hydrogen molecules. Researchers have been working on ways to extract energy from all that trash and now the London Hydrogen Partnership has put out a new report on some of that research. They believe that it is possible to generate up to 141 tonnes of hydrogen gas daily from the city's waste through a combination of gasification/pyrolysis and anaerobic digestion.
The anaerobic digestion would produce methane with bacteria which could then be sent to another facility via natural gas pipelines and reformed into hydrogen gas. The total anticipated hydrogen gas production would be enough to power a fleet of up to 13,750 buses in a mixed fleet of fuel-cell and hybrid internal combustion types. This compares to a current London fleet of 8,000 buses. However, not all the hydrogen would be used for buses, but rather for power generation. If this can be accomplished it could have a significant impact on emissions from vehicles, power plants, and also waste disposal.