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  • 20 January, 2022

  • 15 Min Read

Hydrogen Fuel Cell

  • Hydrogen Fuel is produced through
    1. Steam methane reforming: Extraction of hydrogen from methane. But these release CO2 and CO which leads to Climate change.
    2. Electrolysis: Separating hydrogen and oxygen atoms.
  • HFC contains NOx as pollutants since Hydrogen (molecule) uses Nitrogen as the impurity. If water is added, pollution can be reduced.
  • To cool down Hydrogen gas into a liquid state, temperature has to be brought down at 20 K. Hence it is difficult to use this fuel efficiently.
  • Hydrogen Economy is the vision of using Hydrogen as a low Carbon Energy source; replacing Natural gas as heating fuel or Gasoline as transport fuel.
  • Applications of Hydrogen Fuel
    1. It can provide power for cars, aeroplanes, boats, electric motor.
    2. But it is very difficult to store hydrogen in either cryogenic tank or High-pressure tank.
  • Advantages of Hydrogen Fuel
    1. When we burn Hydrogen, it emits only Water Vapour (no CO2).
    2. Hydrogen is less polluting and has the ability to run a fuel cell engine compared to an internal combustion engine.
  • Applications
    1. Fuel system is most suitable to fulfill distributed stationary power applications.
    2. It is working as an efficient, clean and reliable backup power generator.
    3. Fuel Cell distributed power generation systems are emerging as a promising alternative to grid power.
  • Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFC)
    1. PEMFC convert the chemical energy stored in hydrogen fuel directly and efficiently to electrical energy with water as the only by product without the need for grid power as required by conventional battery backup systems.
    2. Potential: To reduce energy use, pollutant emissions and dependence on fossil fuels and providing sustainable electricity.
    3. Advantage: Operational capability at low-temperatures with applications in decentralised power generation systems.

Hydrogen Energy Mission in 2021-22

  • In her Budget Speech on 1 February 2021, the Finance Minister announced the launch of a Hydrogen Energy Mission in 2021-22 for generating Hydrogen from green power sources.
  • Accordingly, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has drafted a National Hydrogen Energy Mission document which would inter-alia aim to scale up Green Hydrogen production and utilization across multiple sectors, including transportation.
  • Further, in September 2016, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has notified Hydrogen as a fuel for automotive application for Bharat Stage VI vehicles.
  • In September 2020, MoRTH has specified the safety and type approval requirements for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in Automotive Industry Standard (AIS) 157.
  • Also, in September 2020, 18% blend of Hydrogen with CNG (HCNG) has been notified as an automotive fuel.
  • An R&D project titled “Design and Development of 20 kW Low Temperature Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell (given above) with high indigenous content” has been sanctioned by MNRE to International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials, Chennai at a total project cost of Rs 21.42 crores (with MNRE share of Rs 17.74 crore). Rs 7.9 crores has been released under this project in 2019-2020.
  • Further, Department of Science and Technology has launched Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Program and Advanced Hydrogen and Fuel Cell program to support research on Hydrogen and Fuel Cell.
  • Various hydrogen powered vehicles have been developed and demonstrated under projects supported by Government of India. These include
  1. 6 Fuel Cell buses (by Tata Motors Ltd.),
  2. 50 hydrogen enriched CNG (H-CNG) buses in Delhi(by Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. in collaboration with Govt. of NCT of Delhi),
  3. 2 hydrogen fuelled Internal Combustion Engine buses (by IIT Delhi in collaboration with Mahindra & Mahindra),
  4. 15 hydrogen fuelled 3-wheelers (by IIT Delhi in collaboration with Mahindra & Mahindra),
  5. 2 Hydrogen-Diesel dual fuel cars(by Mahindra & Mahindra) and
  6. one fuel cell car (by CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory, CSIR-Central Electrochemical Laboratory and CSIR-National Physical Laboratory).

Source: PIB

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