TOPIC 'Hydrogen & Hydrogen Cars' on Dec 23, 2008 (CST)
New Delhi Launches India’s First Hydrogen Refueling Station
IOC (Indian Oil Corporation) will premiere India’s first hydrogen refueling station in Dwarka, New Delhi, in January 2009. Hydrogen fuel will utilize air from the atmosphere to create pure hydrogen. This new age technology and forward move into the future will help assure India’s diversity of energy resources, resulting in energy security for the country.
The technology to be in place at the Dwarka station is called “electroliser” methodology. Instead of utilizing raw crude oil or gas, which is for the most part imported into the country, this hydrogen station will manufacture hydrogen fuel from the atmospheric air. This fuel pump is being funded jointly by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
Vehicles operating on hydrogen fuel cells emit just water, as opposed to vehicles running on compressed natural gas (CNG) which release noxious oxides into the air. CNG has become a growing concern in New Delhi.
India’s Government set the course for the eventual creation of this hydrogen station when, in 2006, it disclosed its National Hydrogen Energy Roadmap. The goal of this plan was a very determined effort at committing one million vehicles to operate on hydrogen.
The hydrogen fuel pump will disperse a blend of hydrogen and CNG somewhere in the neighborhood of a 20:80 ratio on a group of test vehicles stemming largely from the pool of government cars. It has been rumored that the U.S. automaker General Motors has been contacted by the IOC to test its hydrogen-powered Equinox fuel cell car in India in 2009. BMW, the German automaker, operates a fleet of its vehicles on pure hydrogen all across Europe. However, the blend that BMW utilizes is different than what India is testing with and, therefore, its cars are not suitable for India’s trials.
In the first phase of the research, India plans to focus efforts on goods carriers, public transportation vehicles, and owners of passenger cars because these types of vehicles can more easily be modified to operate on a hydrogen fuel mix. RK Malhotra, Executive Director of Research and Development for IOC, says that operating a vehicle on pure hydrogen would require a completely different engine. However, when comparing mileage efficiency, emissions, and cost of the fuel, hydrogen is said to be superior to CNG.
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