Seoul City set in motion its drive to produce hydrogen ― a clean, renewable energy source ― from natural biogases emitted by landfills in Sangam-dong in northern Seoul.
It will sign a memorandum of understanding with a consortium led by SK Engineering & Construction on the project today.
The city aims to complete the construction of the hydrogen-extraction facility in October 2010, with the facility going operational the following month.
The hydrogen station will be the first of its kind in the world to extract hydrogen from methane as a clean fuel source, Seoul City said in a statement.
The energy produced from the facility will be used to fuel two buses and two cars. The four vehicles, whose total retail value is estimated at 5.2 billion won, will be supplied by Hyundai Motor free of charge. There will potentially be a remaining 320 kilowatts of energy, to be used as power supply elsewhere.
The methane that landfills produce naturally through decomposition can be stored and compressed into energy, according to the Energy Information Administration, a U.S.-based organization that compiles statistics from the government. The project is part of the Seoul Green Energy Declaration made in April 2007 that called for 10 percent of South Korea's energy sources to be renewable by 2020.
The new facility, however, will take the energy-producing process a step further. After separating the methane's main components, the hydrogen will then be compressed to reach 99.9 percent purity, according to Seoul City.