WSU team aims to build the first hydrogen fuel station in Washington

December 2, 2016 1 By Stephen Vagus
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Team of researchers and students to develop a new hydrogen fuel station

Researchers and students from the Washington State University are working together to raise the funds needed to build what they believe will be the state’s first hydrogen fuel station. Washington is a relatively small clean transportation market, with virtually no fuel cell vehicles available to the public. Washington State University hopes to prepare the state for the inevitable coming of these vehicles, however, by helping establish a hydrogen infrastructure.

Using renewable energy to produce hydrogen will be a key part of the new station

The team hopes to demonstrate an inexpensive way for consumers to access the hydrogen they may need in the future. Building a new hydrogen fuel station may also attract some interest in fuel cell vehicles, which most of the world’s major automakers are working to develop and commercialize. Notably, the hydrogen that the new fueling station will be supplied with will be produced through the use of renewable energy. Jake Leachman, associate professor for the Washington State University’s School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, notes that wind energy could be an effective way to generate environmentally friendly hydrogen.

Renewable hydrogen production is becoming an important issue

Hydrogen Fuel Station - Car refuelingConventional methods of hydrogen production are heavily reliant on fossil-fuels. This is a somewhat significant problem as hydrogen generation is linked to emissions production. This makes hydrogen much less attractive as a clean form of energy when compared solar, wind, and even biofuels. Using renewable energy to generate hydrogen is becoming a top priority for those interested in clean transportation because it helps make hydrogen production much more environmentally friendly.

New start-up company may manage the state’s first hydrogen fuel station

The team from the Washington State University has received federal funding to help their efforts. They have also established a start-up company that is focused on dispensing, liquefaction, and storage of hydrogen. This company is likely to be in charge of operating the new hydrogen fuel station that will eventually begin providing the fuel that drivers need. The team has not yet determined when this hydrogen fuel station will begin operation.