Monday, November 26, 2007

Tata Motors To Go Hydrogen

Tata Motors, India's largest automobile company, has announced plans to produce a Hydrogen version of its successful trucks and buses. The auto giant has drawn up an eight-year timeframe to deliver Hydrogen versions of its standard Indica model as well as other vehicles.

The fuel cell buses Tata is looking at will be able to run about 155 miles (250km) on one fill and could be used for inter-city and intra-city trips. The same fuel cell technology will later be used in smaller cars as well as SUV's. Tata is also working on a Hydrogen-based internal combustion engine as well as an Indica model that would run on a mix of compressed natural gas (CNG) and Hydrogen.

The push by Tata Motors comes along with the government of India's plan to pump in more than $5 billion (Rs 25,000 crore) into a national Hydrogen energy board to support the Technology Information Forecasting and Assessment Council and their focus on building technologies and engines using Hydrogen as fuel.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Hydrogen Station Opened In Shanghai

A new Hydrogen refueling station has opened in Anting, Shanghai. The station is the result of research and development conduced at Tongji University as well as funding and technical advice provided by Shell Hydrogen.

Tongji University will be responsible for operating the station that will dispense Hydrogen for a fleet of fuel cell cars and buses operating in the region.

The Anting Hydrogen station is part of the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology's 863 Program, named for the date on which it was created (March 1986). The program aims to stimulate the development of advanced technologies in a wide range of fields, including the commercialization of hybrid-electric drive and fuel cell vehicles.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Grass Is Greener On The Other Side

Researchers at Penn State University have developed a process whereby bacteria is used to extract Hydrogen from almost any biodegradable organic substance (from grass clippings to wastewater).

The discovery, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is very promising given that the researchers were able to use existing technology meaning the process can be put to use immediately.

Professor Bruce Logan and his research assistant Shaoan Cheng discovered a method whereby bacteria called exoelectrogens break down acetic acid (produced by fermenting cellulose, glucose or other biodegradable organic matter) in a microbial electrolysis cell to create Hydrogen.

The way the process works is that when the bacteria consume the acid, electrons are transferred to a graphite anode. During the process the bacteria also release protons (which are Hydrogen atoms stripped of electrons) that are held in solution. As the electrons are then transferred to a platinum cathode they combine with the protons and generate 0.3 volts of electricity. When another 0.2 volts is added to the process it creates Hydrogen gas.

This is all very promising especially given that this method produces up to 82 percent more energy than the electricity and biomass needed to produce it.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Norwegian Hydrogen World

Mazda and Hydrogen Road of Norway (HyNor) have announced that they will collaborate in the development of Hydrogen fuel and Hydrogen vehicles. As part of the colloboration, HyNor will purchase thirty Mazda RX-8 Hydrogen RE vehicles making this the first time such vehicles have been sold outside of Japan.

Mazda has described the move as a big step in Mazda's Hydrogen vehicle development history and lauds Norway as being one of the countries closest to the realization of a Hydrogen energy society.

As part of the project, HyNor is looking to develop a Hydrogen energy infrastructure along a route of 360 miles (580km) from Oslo to Stavanger. The project envisions a Hydrogen world with buses, taxis, cars and other types of transport systems. Sounds like Norway might be one of the first countries to realize a Hydrogen Future.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Working Together to Test Hydrogen Technology

The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) are set to test Hydrogen fueling technologies in cold weather military applications. Through cooperative research and development agreements, the U.S. Army, Chevron Technology Ventures (CTV) and Hyundai-Kia America will collaborate on the project set up at a state of the art facility located at the Selfridge Air National Guard (SANG) Base in Michigan.

The facility will initially power a fleet of five Hyundai Tucson fuel cell vehicles used by the Army and National Guard. The facility will utilize Chevron's proprietary advanced steam methane reforming technology to produce about 88 pounds (40kgs) of Hydrogen per day.

The SANG Base station is the fifth Hydrogen demonstration station commissioned by CTV. Each of the five stations features a different production technology to assess and determine the benefits of various production systems.