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Hydrogen Fuel and the Benefits for Transport and Mobility

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In this interview, Eddy Nupoort, Sales and Business Development Manager for Nel Hydrogen talks to AZoM about hydrogen fuel and its benefits for transport and mobility.

What is hydrogen fuel and how is it used?

Hydrogen is a fuel that can be used to fuel vehicles as fast as conventional fuels and provide the same long driving range. Onboard the vehicle a fuel cell transforms hydrogen into electricity using air from the surroundings, with water as the only exhaust. Simply said hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles are electric vehicle with the same performance as conventional fuels, but with zero carbon emissions.

Where does the hydrogen fuel come from?

Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, accounting to almost 90% of all matter. One of the large sources for hydrogen is water, which can be split into hydrogen and oxygen by use of renewable electricity from solar and wind.  The technology that is used to split water into hydrogen and oxygen is called water electrolysis. There are two types of water electrolysis technology, Alkaline a mature technology and Proton Exchange Membrane electrolysis an emerging technology. Both technologies are currently being employed in creating green hydrogen fuel. Note that not all hydrogen fuel is green, today the majority of hydrogen being used is created by separating hydrogen from natural gas using a technology called steam methane reforming. Steam methane reforming is a carbon intensive process that emits 10-17 tons of CO2 for every 1 ton of Hydrogen produced.

Image Credit:Shutterstock/A.Morando

Is hydrogen fuel a green alterative to fossil fuels?

Hydrogen generated by electrolysis can be made from renewable electricity. Hydrogen can also help integrate more renewables into the energy system and can be used for things like heating homes, seasonal energy storage, and natural gas injection. Hydrogen helps store energy for periods with less wind or sun, and will eventually enable a 100% renewable energy system while also powering transport.

Image Credit:Shutterstock/Petrmalinak

What are the key benefits of hydrogen fuel for transport/mobility? 

The key benefits of hydrogen fuel for transport are that it offers similar refueling times and driving ranges as conventional fuels. Achieving equivalent performance to todays gasoline and diesel vehicles is a critical decision point for consumers that would like to switch to zero emission vehicles. Additionally, hydrogen infrastructure can be implemented in a similar fashion as conventional fuels at every gas station. When compared with battery electric vehicle charging, hydrogen requires no expensive and complex upgrades of the electrical grid or installation of chargers in every household.

Hydrogen fuel cell and storage costs are lower compared to batteries – thus hydrogen can achieve long range without jeopardizing the ability to manufacture vehicles at affordable prices.

What hydrogen fueling technologies exist, what are there key advantages and disadvantages?

Hydrogen fueling has already been internationally standardized for more than a decade – thus any hydrogen powered vehicle can fuel at any hydrogen gas station – there are no issues on fueling dispensers not fitting. On the production side, hydrogen has been used as a feedstock in multiple industries for more than a century, and the technology for scaling manufacturing volume has been developed, and we will eventually reach fuel prices competitive with conventional fuels.

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How are hydrogen fuel cell vehicles fueled? How long does it take?

For a typical passenger vehicle, it takes 3-5 minutes to get a full tank that provides more than 300 miles driving range.

What are some misconceptions about hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, and fueling technology?

Many people perceive hydrogen as dangerous due to the famous Hindenburg accident. In reality hydrogen is as safe as gasoline, or perhaps safer. In case of a leak from a vehicle tank, hydrogen diffuses into the surroundings much faster than gasoline. Should the fuel ignite hydrogen burns much faster and emits less radiation heat, thus the impact to the surroundings are limited. Hydrogen tanks are however designed to avoid any leak and can withstand heavy collisions.

What are my options if I want to drive a fuel cell vehicle?

Vehicles are being leased and used on a daily basis throughout California, and offered by the major car manufacturers. Learn more at www.cafcp.org

About Eddy NupoortImageForArticle_18747_15785633709456557.png

Since 2010 Eddy has actively contributed to the expansion of hydrogen refueling station infrastructure, successfully permitting, constructing, and installing more than 36 stations in eighth countries for major global energy and gas companies. Eddy’s has been tasked with managing Nel Hydrogen’s efforts in the market expansion in California since 2017.

Eddy is currently responsible for hydrogen Sales and Business Development activities in North America.

NEL

Nel is a global, dedicated hydrogen company, delivering optimal solutions to produce, store and distribute hydrogen from renewable energy. We serve industries, energy and gas companies with leading hydrogen technology. Since its origins in 1927, Nel has a proud history of development and continual improvement of hydrogen plants. Our hydrogen solutions cover the entire value chain from hydrogen production technologies to manufacturing of hydrogen fueling stations, providing all fuel cell electric vehicles with the same fast fueling and long range as conventional vehicles today.

www.nelhydrogen.com

 

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily represent the views of AZoM.com Limited (T/A) AZoNetwork, the owner and operator of this website. This disclaimer forms part of the Terms and Conditions of use of this website.

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