How to farm hydrogen with an H2 silo

A farmer’s silo that stores hydrogen instead of grain?

That’s the idea behind a new concept design by Koren Bras of Charlotte, North Carolina, which aims to cut farmers’ dependency on oil (and hence, the carbon footprint of food) with homegrown hydrogen.

The H2 Silo was created in Washington State University’s Interdisciplinary Design Studio as a “radical design intervention” designed to produce hydrogen from renewable sources and create a distribution network for it in rural areas, based on the principles of biomimicry (which works with design inspiration drawn from nature).

How, exactly, this design was drawn from nature isn’t all that clear, but the top floor of the H2 Silo harvests solar energy, while the second floor uses this energy for hydrolosis, producing hydrogen and oxygen from water. 

On the bottom floor, farm vehicles can pull up and refill with hydrogen, and perhaps even take a few moments to refresh and unwind in the included oxygen bar.

There isn’t enough here to really get the big picture on Bras’ thinking here, but the H2 Silo, at the very least, seems like a great way to repurpose old silos to accommodate carbon-free farming.

Of course, we’re not sure what the nation’s farmers would make of the oxygen bar.

* Susan DeFreitas, EarthTechling