The Coca-Cola Company announced February 24 that it has agreed to test fuel cells powered by environmentally friendly biogas to power its Odwalla juice packaging plant in Dinuba, Calif.
The company has signed on as a Foundation Partner with Bloom Energy, a California-based firm that manufactures fuel cells that can generate electricity from a variety of energy sources, including natural gas.
The core technology, called solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC), was originally developed for NASA. It is one of the most efficient devices available for converting hydrocarbon fuels, such as natural gas, into electricity.
Five Bloom Energy Server fuel cells will be installed late this year at the Dinuba plant. The fuel cells, which will run on re-directed biogas, are expected to provide 30 percent of the plant’s power needs while reducing its carbon footprint by an estimated 35 percent.
"This new fuel cell technology has great promise and represents an important step for Coca-Cola in continuing to grow our business without growing the carbon footprint," said Brian Kelley, president and general manager, Coca-Cola North America Still Beverages and Supply Chain. "The Coca-Cola Company has committed to hold its overall worldwide manufacturing carbon emissions flat through 2015 from its 2004 level. We intend to do this while actually reducing emissions in the U.S. and other developed markets, improving energy efficiency and using cleaner forms of energy, like these fuel cells."
Other steps the Coca-Cola System has taken or plans to take to reduce its carbon footprint include: