SCRA completes new hydrogen fuel production project

August 10, 2015 0 By Stephen Vagus
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Gas-to-hydrogen project at BMW facility reaches completion

SCRA, an applied research corporation, has completed a new gas-to-hydrogen project at a BMW facility located in South Carolina. The project received support from the U.S. Department of Energy and it had a focus of finding ways to economically convert landfill gases into usable hydrogen fuel. This type of hydrogen production method is becoming more popular, as it may represent an efficient way to supply the fuel to those that are making use of fuel cell energy systems.

New hydrogen production methods could be a boon for fuel cell vehicles

Currently, BMW receives the hydrogen fuel it uses from an industrial gas supplier, but this could change in the future, as converting landfill gases could become a viable way for the company to make use of hydrogen. The project itself is focused on producing hydrogen that is pure enough to be used in fuel cell vehicles, which numerous automakers have begun developing for commercialization. These vehicles have yet to see a widespread release, and BMW is currently focusing on improving fuel cell technology in order to reduce its associated costs and make fuel cell vehicles more attractive to consumers.

Gas-to-hydrogen project provide highly pure hydrogen fuel for vehicles

BMW - Hydrogen Fuel ProjectDuring the final phase of SCRA’s project, BMW materials handling equipment had begun using hydrogen that had been produced through the gas-to-hydrogen process. There was quantifiable difference in the performance of these vehicles when compared to those using hydrogen from BMW’s primary supplier. The process itself is considered renewable, as landfill gas is quite abundant and inexpensive to make use of.

Project could help solve the problems of the existing hydrogen infrastructure

The project received both technical and financial support from the Department of Energy. The agency provided half of the funding that the project needed; $1.3 million. The rest of the funding was provided through various sources. The project could help unlock a new future for fuel cell vehicles, where renewable hydrogen fuel is in ready supply. This could also help alleviate some of the problems with the existing hydrogen infrastructure and its lacking ability to provide reliable access to hydrogen fuel for those that own fuel cell vehicles.