Hydrogen cars are appropriate in all urban area, say US university researchersDecember 15, 2023
A team of scientists from the University of Houston released a white paper about the potential of H2.
The University of Houston recently released a white paper describing high potential for hydrogen cars in urban areas, referring to them as both competitive and friendly to the environment as a gasoline and diesel vehicle alternative.
The researchers underscored how well suited H2 powered passenger vehicles are to urban areas.
The white paper was titled “Competitive Pricing of Hydrogen as an Economic Alternative to Gasoline and Diesel for the Houston Transportation Sector”. In it, researchers stated that over 230 million tons of CO2 are emitted by the Texan transportation sector annually. In 2022, there were 5.5 million vehicles registered with the Texas Department of Transportation in Houston alone.
As the city also has a number of H2 production facilities for industrial applications, H2 is already readily available there. That said, the H2 is not produced using emissions free methods, as it is grey hydrogen, which is made using natural gas without mitigating its carbon emissions. The H2 is used primarily for fertilizer production and petroleum refining.
Still, there is potential for the development of green H2 to power hydrogen cars in the city.
According to the white paper, while most H2 currently produced in Houston is grey, green H2 also has a place in the city.
“It has more than sufficient water and commercial filtering systems to support hydrogen generation,” said the white paper. “Add to that the existing natural gas pipeline infrastructure, which makes hydrogen production and supply more cost-effective and makes Houston ideal for transitioning from traditional vehicles to hydrogen-powered ones.”
In the paper, the researchers compared steam methane reforming methods of H2 production with and without the use of carbon capture. They also compared those methods with H2 production using electrolysis powered by grid electricity.
The researchers found that businesses would find it notably advantageous if they were to use hydrogen cars. This advantage extended both in an economic and environmental direction. They pointed to the advantages of passenger hydrogen cars due to the faster refilling and greater range than battery electric vehicles, the current dominant emission-free passenger vehicle.
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