The effort to find sources of energy to replace fossil fuels is increasing around the world.
Many places are working on providing hydrogen fuel cells as a way to power vehicles. This includes cars, trucks, buses and more. These hydrogen fuel cells are designed to utilize hydrogen gas energy. They are designed to combine oxygen and hydrogen to create electricity which will provide power for a vehicle’s motor.
Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle Recycling
All vehicles reach a point where they are no longer useful and must be recycled. When this time comes for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, it is going to be similar to the processing required for electric vehicles. The main difference is the system used to recycle vehicles with hydrogen fuel cells will require the cells to be completely removed before shredding can occur. There are also other high-risk components that must be taken into consideration. The vehicle recycling process will involve identifying the high-risk components and manually removing them for specialized treatment.
The range and process for refueling a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle are similar to other conventional vehicles. A big difference is that when the hydrogen gas is converted into electrical energy, the only byproducts it creates is water and heat. A vehicle powered by hydrogen fuel cells will not emit any form of vehicle tailpipe pollution when used. It has been estimated that an increase in the use of hydrogen fuel cells vehicles could reduce emissions by more that 29 percent when compared to emissions from conventional vehicles.
The tank of a vehicle that runs on hydrogen fuel cells is able to be easily filled with compressed hydrogen gas. This will only take a matter of minutes. It is like refueling a conventional vehicle. This avoids the hours required to charge a battery-powered vehicle. The driving ranges of hydrogen fuel vehicles resemble those of conventional vehicles. A person driving a vehicle powered by hydrogen fuel cells can expect to travel a distance of up to 300 miles before needing to get more fuel. Since hydrogen fuel cell vehicles have such a significant range, it makes them a successful method of powering large vehicles such as buses and trucks. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles can come with an idle-off feature. This will turn off the fuel cell withing a vehicle when it is in stop and go traffic as well as at stop lights and more. There are even certain situations where regenerative braking can be utilized. This is a way to obtain energy that has been lost. The energy can then be used to charge the vehicle’s battery.
The number of vehicles being powered by hydrogen fuel cells is steadily increasing. It has been estimated that by the year 2032, there will be over 20 million hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in operation around the world. This will create revenues of over a trillion dollars for the auto industry. A report published by Information Trends states that by 2050 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will be the quickest growing segment of the auto sales industry. The report also stated that by 2020 current efforts to provide a hydrogen refueling infrastructure will be in place in key areas around the world to accommodate increased demand.
There have been a number of studies done by governments around the world concerning how hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will impact the environment. They have concluded that fuel cell electric vehicles are much less harmful to the environment when compared to vehicles powered by diesel fuel or gasoline. They are also much more energy efficient. Many argue that they are not as energy efficient as battery-powered electric vehicles. Supporters of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles believe their greater range makes them more popular with consumers than battery-powered electric vehicles.
The United States Department of Energy provided over $8 million dollars in grant money to increase the development of hydrogen fuel cell technology for vehicles. Over $4 million dollars was provided for research into the development of advanced fuel cell membranes. The 3M Corporation received $3 million dollars to develop technology for fuel cell membranes that would increase their durability as well as performance. The Colorado School of Mines was given over $1 million dollars toward the creation of materials that could make fuel cell membranes simpler to manufacture and more cost effective to produce.