Bi ismillahi rahmani raheem
Petrol station to offer hydrogen by month's end
Shell is preparing to open a station in west Los Angeles later
this month that will dispense petrol or, if you're one of the few to
have a fuel-cell car, hydrogen.
Two, limited release, fuel-cell cars available in America: Chevy Equinox (top) and Honda FCX Clarity (bottom)
Duncan Macleod [of the clan Macleod...sorry i couldnt resist], vice president of Shell Hydrogen, gave the keynote talk on Tuesday at the http://www.csievents.org/Cleantech2008/ - CTSI Clean Technology conference in Boston , where he said that the Santa Monica Boulevard station will be followed by a few more in the coming months.
The Los Angeles station will use an electrolyser to manufacture
hydrogen from electricity on site. This station is part of a U.S.
Department of Energy hydrogen research program with Shell and General
Motors. Shell, however, will build a few more stations in Los Angeles
area on its own in coming months, Macleod said.
In his talk, Macleod argued that fuel-cell vehicles will be
mass-produced by 2020. To make that happen, "mini networks" of hydrogen
filling stations in densely populated cities need to take root now. He
added that fuel-cell vehicles are at a pivotal point in their
development: with the proper government incentives and technology
investments now, hydrogen can be produced in cleaner ways.
Options for making hydrogen
Hydrogen has been touted as the successor to petrol and diesel for many
years. On the one hand, auto makers believe that they could make money
from fuel-cell cars because they contain fewer parts. Environmentally,
the big advantage of fuel-cell cars, compared to the conventional
internal combustion variety, is that they emit only water. Making
hydrogen, though, requires an energy source and, this, ironically, can
be climate changing fossil fuels.
The electrolyser used in hydrogen stations can run on electricity
from renewable sources, as Shell is doing with wind power in the
Netherlands and geothermal power in Iceland. Electrolysers cannot scale
to serve thousands of customers, Macleod said. That means that hydrogen
for fuel-cell vehicles in the medium term will be made at petrochemical
plants that make hydrogen as part of their industrial process.
"We can make hydrogen from anything," he said, but the input into a
petrochemical plant or refinery is either oil or gas. "That means you
are making hydrogen from hydrocarbons, which isn't a long-term sensible
way of doing things."
There are also several technical challenges, not the least of which
is making hydrogen cost-effectively. To get to cleaner sources, Shell
Hydrogen envisions the manufacture of hydrogen from fossil fuels with
carbon capture and storage. That would mean natural gas would have its
hydrogen component split off from it to be used as a fuel (or generate
power with a turbine), while the carbon dioxide would be pumped
Farther out, Shell is doing research on making hydrogen from
renewable bio-feedstocks or even municipal solid waste. Macleod said he
anticipates that hydrogen will become one option among several power
sources, including electricity, biofuel, and gasoline.
"I don't now think that hydrogen is the ultimate fuel, but it is
part of the answer," he said. "It's not the energy companies that
decide. It's the governments and the consumers."
Rasul Allah (sallah llahu alaihi wa sallam) said: "Whoever knows himself, knows his Lord" and whoever knows his Lord has been given His gnosis and nearness.