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    There’s been an interesting increase in the use of hydrogen fuel cell electric powered forklifts in recent years. This is indicative of what will become the future of motor vehicle and rail transport. Regarding forklifts, the global material handling market is worth $20 billion, with Crown forklifts right in the thick of it. There’s a number of companies moving to use of these forklifts i.e. Walmart, Coca-Cola and BMW. See below, what BMW is doing…

    Published on Mar 15, 2013

    BMW Manufacturing Expands Use of Hydrogen Fuel Cells

    Spartanburg, S.C. — March 13, 2013…BMW Manufacturing announced today the successful expansion of the company’s hydrogen fuel-cell material handling equipment across its 4.0 million square foot production facility. In 2010, BMW completed the installation of a hydrogen storage and distribution area near the plant’s Energy Center to power about 100 pieces of fuel cell material handling equipment. Since that time, the company has more than doubled its hydrogen-fuel cell fleet to approximately 230 units to service the entire plant’s production and logistics functions.

    “BMW continues to complement its sustainable production model by adding alternative, efficient technology, said Josef Kerscher, President of BMW Manufacturing. “Successful implementation, and ultimately expansion, of our hydrogen fuel cell material handling fleet has provided a sustainable energy source that exceeds our expectations.”

    The additional usage of the hydrogen fuel cell system was executed by adding two new higher-capacity compressors, new storage tubes and distribution piping, and eight new hydrogen dispensers. The expanded system will deliver at least 400kg of Hydrogen per day. BMW estimates that the expanded system will avoid 4.1 million kw/hours per year, up from 1.8 million kw hours/year for the initial hydrogen fuel cell system.

    BMW also released a project update to the Landfill Gas-to-Hydrogen Pilot Project. The first phase of the study, that validated the economic and technical feasibility, began in July 2011. The project has now successfully moved to the second phase of methane-to-hydrogen conversion. The project team, led by South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA), is implementing and testing equipment that will monitor the hydrogen purity. To do this, BMW has installed a clean-up system that takes a stream of landfill gas (post-siloxane removal), removes the sulfur and trace contaminants and, ultimately, produces hydrogen via a Steam Methane Reformer (SMR).

    “BMW is very pleased with the progress we have been able to achieve in the last 18 months, said Cleve Beaufort, BMW Group’s Energy Manager for the U.S. and Canada. “The objective of generating renewable hydrogen from methane is proving to be a possible option for BMW and will be transformational for the fuel cell industry.”

    Throughout this project, SCRA has been a leading funding and implementation partner. The U.S. Department of Energy has also provided both technical and funding support for the project.

    The final phase of this project is scheduled to begin in late 2013. At that time, BMW will conduct side-by-side trials of material handling equipment fueled by landfill gas derived hydrogen versus commercially sourced hydrogen.

    For their efforts in on-site energy production, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently named BMW Manufacturing the second largest Green Power Partner. Green Power rankings recognize U.S. businesses and communities that are making investments in on-site power generation. BMW’s U.S. plant currently produces 38% of its electrical requirements on-site, mostly from its landfill gas-to-energy program.


    Doesnt it take more energy to produce and compress hydrogen than it yields?

    I dont think hydrogen is the long term solution

    It will have a place as a by product of storing excess solar power but not as a replacement for fossil fuels.


    Snags post=356668 wrote: Doesnt it take more energy to produce and compress hydrogen than it yields?

    I dont think hydrogen is the long term solution

    It will have a place as a by product of storing excess solar power but not as a replacement for fossil fuels.

    Snags, your google searches on “hydrogen production” would be better served if you limit them to past year month or week, for relevant current information. Your url to a 5 year old “yahoo answers” page is a poor excuse for your argument that hydrogen isn’t up to it… :whistle:

    Here’s just one example below of what research you’ll find and therefore an indication of the future of hydrogen as an sustainable means to power transport vehicles.

    High-yield production of dihydrogen from xylose by using a synthetic enzyme cascade in a cell-free system.


    Let enzymes work: H2 was produced from xylose and water in one reactor containing 13 enzymes (red). By using a novel polyphosphate xylulokinase (XK), xylose was converted into H2 and CO2 with approaching 100 % of the theoretical yield. The findings suggest that cell-free biosystems could produce H2 from biomass xylose at low cost. Xu5P = xylulose 5-phosphate, G6P = glucose 6-phosphate.


    Same research as above at this link but in a news format from Virginia Tech.

    Note where it is mentioned, “This results in an energy efficiency of more than 100 percent — a net energy gain.”

    Breakthrough in hydrogen fuel production could revolutionize alternative energy market


    Thats an EROEI of 2

    What happens when the EROI gets too low?

    What’s achievable at different EROIs?

    If you’ve got an EROI of 1.1:1, you can pump the oil out of the ground and look at it.

    If you’ve got 1.2:1, you can refine it and look at it.

    At 1.3:1, you can move it to where you want it and look at it.

    We looked at the minimum EROI you need to drive a truck, and you need at least 3:1 at the wellhead.

    Now, if you want to put anything in the truck, like grain, you need to have an EROI of 5:1.

    And that includes the depreciation for the truck.

    But if you want to include the depreciation for the truck driver and the oil worker and the farmer, then you’ve got to support the families.

    And then you need an EROI of 7:1.

    And if you want education, you need 8:1 or 9:1.

    And if you want health care, you need 10:1 or 11:1.

    Civilization requires a substantial energy return on investment.

    It might be viable if you put it in a train and moved a lot of people and freight but I doubt it.


    As I have repeated myself over and over to yours and other attempts to use EROEI to refute renewable energy systems, I’ll repeat myself again. EROEI audits do not apply to renewable energy systems.

    This form of hydrogen production is a “cellfree biosystem” bioreactor where the process uses “mild reaction conditions of 50 °C (122 °F) and normal atmospheric pressure.” These are ideal conditions that work beautifully with renewable energy, i.e. as heat from the sun.

    The relevant factors that determine renewable energy success is time and space. How long the reactions take to produce the product and how much space a facility uses. No point using a system that takes till the end of time and all of the space on the planet to produce our energy needs, right?

    Neither of the “time and space” factors are part of an EROEI audit, which renders EROEI a useless calculation for renewable energy.


    Bottom line is will it be able to compete with oil economically.

    If it cant it wont be used for cars or trucks.

    There are many problems with hydrogen price, storage, infrastructure

    In 2013, Lux Research, Inc. issued a report that stated: “The dream of a hydrogen economy … is no nearer.”

    It concluded that “Capital cost, not hydrogen supply, will limit adoption to a mere 5.9 GW” by 2030, providing “a nearly insurmountable barrier to adoption, except in niche applications”.

    Lux’s analysis concluded that by 2030, PEM stationary market will reach $1 billion, while the vehicle market, including forklifts, will reach a total of $2 billion

    Its advantage of zero emissions give it an advantage in the forklift scenario of a closed warehouse were its competing with batteries and LPG .(health laws will outlaw LPG and give H the edge.)


    Hey Snags, before you flip over to another angle of denial, why don’t you acknowledge that your EROEI argument is flawed?


    Snags says, There are many problems with hydrogen price, storage, infrastructure

    You only state that because the reading material you chose states that and that agrees with your hydrogen wont cut it ideas. It appears this is a strong, staunch view you’ve held for a long time and any new information or breakthroughs are difficult to accept.

    1 hydrogen price. We’ll have to see about how that turns out… Here’s something to digest…

    Sustainable mobility

    Coordinated by a group of industrial and institutional players of the first rank, a comparative study has concluded that hydrogen will be among the leading solutions in the clean mobility objectives put forth by the European Commission.

    This survey was coordinated by more than thirty key players, including carmakers, oil and industrial gas companies, NGOs, and European and governmental organizations. It compared the technical, economic and environmental characteristics of vehicles and the infrastructures needed to achieve the objectives set by the European Commission in the area of reducing CO2 emission levels.

    The report concludes that it is necessary to develop a complementary set of vehicles in order to make zero carbon mobility a reality in Europe. It appears that vehicles running on fuel cells are the solution with the least carbon footprint for long distance travel and large vehicles (which represent 75% of total transport-related emissions).

    The survey shows that both electrical and hydrogen infrastructures are necessary, and that construction on them should begin as soon as possible to ensure efficient development. In particular, rolling out a hydrogen infrastructure for cars appears to be technically feasible, economically affordable, and adjustable to needs.

    2 storage.

    I don’t recall any significant nor sensational number of, if at all, hydrogen fuel cell electric or hydrogen piston engine vehicles having catastrophic failures. Many and various hydrogen cars made by lots of car makers have been driving around for years and years.

    The future of hydrogen onboard storage will be in the form of a solid. Here’s one example of that technology.

    3 infrastructure.

    If you research that you’ll find infrastructure is being developed in many countries.

    I not going to spoon feed any more… Do the research.

    I’m off to watch RockWiz 😛


    The Propagation of Hydrogen Stations

    10 Apr 2013. by Jonathan Wing, Market Analyst.

    It is well known that from 2015 onwards automakers across the world will begin to bring fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) to market. However, these cars are of little use if a customer has nowhere to refuel. This chicken and egg problem of vehicles and infrastructure has plagued discussions of FCEV commercialisation since they began. Luckily, partners on both the vehicle and fuel supply side are now working to create a viable ecosystem into which FCEV can arrive and propagate.

    The current wave of progress began in September 2009, when seven of the world’s largest automotive OEMs – Daimler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai-Kia, Renault-Nissan, and Toyota – signed a joint letter of intent addressed to the oil and energy industries and government organisations. It signalled the OEMs’ intent to commercialise a significant number of fuel cell vehicles from 2015 and urged for the development of hydrogen infrastructure, primarily in Europe and especially in Germany, to allow for this market introduction.

    A year and a half later in January 2011, the three major Japanese automakers – Honda, Nissan, and Toyota – signed a memorandum of understanding with ten Japanese oil and energy companies. It agreed three main points: that the automakers will continue to reduce manufacturing costs and popularise FCEV; that the automakers and fuel suppliers will work together to expand the introduction of FCEV and the hydrogen supply network, and that the hydrogen fuel suppliers will construct a network of approximately 100 hydrogen refuelling stations by 2015. These stations will be clustered in Japan’s four main metropolitan areas: Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, and Fukuoka.

    With 2015 now just two years away, what impact have these letters and memoranda had? How close are Europe, Japan, and the rest of the world to realising viable early markets for FCEV?

    According to the LBST and TÜV SÜD operated information website, 27 new hydrogen stations were opened worldwide in 2012, bringing the total number of hydrogen stations in service to a total of 208 as of March 2013 – 80 in Europe, 49 in Asia, 76 in North America, and three elsewhere. A fifteen percent increase in hydrogen refuelling stations in the space of a year is indicative of an industry drive towards market preparation for FCEV. Of the 27 new stations, eight are in North America, three are in Asia, and sixteen are in Europe, of which five are in Germany. The European FCEV movement has been led by Germany, with invested parties largely represented in the Clean Energy Partnership (CEP). Three of the five new German stations are CEP stations, in Hamburg, Berlin, and Dusseldorf. In June 2012, the German Federal Transport Minister Peter Ramsauer together with industry partners Daimler, Linde, Air Products, Air Liquide and Total signed a letter of intent to increase the network of hydrogen stations in Germany to 50 by 2015, supported by €20 million in funding from the National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Innovation Programme (NIP). According to, Germany currently has 14 public stations in operation and the country is on its way to achieving its goal. Once built, these 50 stations provide the skeleton infrastructure needed to support initial FCEV rollout across the nation. Elsewhere in Europe, Scandinavia is continuing to solidify its position as an important launch market for FCEV with contracts securing fifteen Hyundai ix35 FCEV in Copenhagen and two in Skåne, Sweden.

    In early February 2013 the initial findings of the first phase of the government–industry UK H2Mobility project were revealed. The study sees ≤1.6 million FCEV on UK roads by 2030, with annual sales of more than 300,000. It further found that 10% of new car customers would be receptive to FCEV when first introduced and that an initial rollout of 65 hydrogen stations in heavily populated areas and along national trunk routes would provide sufficient coverage for these early vehicle sales. Hydrogen should be cost‐competitive with diesel immediately, with 60% lower CO2 emissions than diesel by 2020; as the fuel mix becomes more renewable this improves to 75% lower by 2030 and would be on course for 100% by 2050. As vehicle sales grow, the number of refuelling sites would increase to 1,150 by 2030; by that time 51% of the fuel mix should be coming from water electrolysis, contributing to an annual total vehicle CO2 emissions reduction of up to three million tonnes by FCEV in 2030. Furthermore, FCEV could have a UK market share of 30–50% by 2050.

    Continue reading here…


    Nothing personal I am a sceptic

    I hope you are right but if you notice we have been burning wood ,then whales, then coal, then oil and we are still doing it minus the whales.

    Because its cheap and easy.

    Under the current model man does what ever makes him the biggest bang for his buck.

    The only thing that can change that is either a tax on polluting, a rethink on what is sustainable and a backward step in living standard, or a new invention that is cheaper than oil.

    At the moment hydrogen isnt that magic pill

    Fuel cells need rare earth minerals that are “rare”

    Most hydrogen is made using fossil fuels at a net energy loss.

    Compressing and freezing takes a lot of energy

    Our infrastructure is oilcentric.

    Transition form oil will be gas, this will buy us some time to come up with a new invention or accept we are living beyond our means.

    Future transport may be less one man in a car and more lots of people in shared vehicle.


    My take on this –

    Hydrogen will probbaly form a part of a low carbon economy. Most likly as a way to store and even out renewables and also to provide a transport fuel as fuel cells/hydrogen are way better energy storage wise than current batteries.

    Whether we will ever see a “hydrogen economy” as many advocates of hydrogen would like, I really doubt it. For static applications, you are far better off using something that creates electricity directly rather than creating electricity to make hydrogen to make electricity again. Likewise with some of the new catalysed thermal ways to make hydrogen. More efficient to just use the heat to heat a working fluid and run a turbine.

    As a way of providing power for mobile applications it certainly has posibilities. Likewise as an energy storage mechanism for renewables to even out peaks. Maybe your home renewable system could produce hydrogen when its producing more than you are using, store that in a tank and run it back through a fuel cell to produce power when you need more. Or use it to fill up your hydrogen powered car.

    I suspect this sort of hubrid/integrated system will be what’s needed.




    Snags says, Fuel cells need rare earth minerals that are “rare”


    The rare items you are referring to. i.e. platinum, are being superseded by cheap and plentiful materials to make fuel cells, to make these new fuel cells more efficient than the previously most efficient Platinum.

    Fuel cell research using cheaper and better materials…

    Graphene – Halogenated Graphene Nanoplatelets for Platinum-Free Fuel Cells

    Carbon – Nitrogen Doped Carbon Nanotubes Can Be Key Catalyst for Fuel Cells

    Iron oxide – Is Iron the New Platinum?

    Snags says, Most hydrogen is made using fossil fuels at a net energy loss.

    In the U.S. more than 95% of hydrogen is a by-product of other product manufacturing processes. Hydrogen is made in huge quantities from natural gas to make fertiliser and to help make petrol cleaner by removing sulphur impurities. Hydrogen made from fossil fuels today, used through a fuel cell to generate electricity for an electric motor to propel a current production “Hydrogen FuelCell Car” is far more efficient and cleaner than a combustion engine car. In the future when hydrogen is required for transport etc, it will be made from renewables in order to meet regulations for CO2 pollution reduction.

    Snags says, Compressing and freezing takes a lot of energy

    Hydrogen wont require freezing nor high compression with storage methods already discovered and in development.

    Snags, you can’t see the potential for hydrogen because you are stuck on old hydrogen technologies. I see the same old excuses repeated time and again… :whistle:


    Hyundai Motor delivers first 15 hydrogen-powered ix35 Fuel Cell in Europe

    City of Copenhagen takes delivery of first 15 Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell units

    Vehicles to be used in municipal fleet, supporting city’s ‘carbon-neutral’ aim

    ix35 Fuel Cell is world’s first assembly line-produced hydrogen-powered car

    June 3, 2013 – Hyundai Motor Company has today delivered the first of its assembly line-produced ix35 Fuel Cell vehicles to the City of Copenhagen in Denmark. They were handed over by Hyundai Motor Europe, Hyundai Motor’s European sales subsidiary, during the opening ceremony of Denmark’s first hydrogen refuelling station.

    The 15 ix35 Fuel Cell units are the first hydrogen-powered vehicles manufactured on a production line to be introduced in Europe.

    Mr. Byung Kwon Rhim, President of Hyundai Motor Europe said, “Hyundai Motor is committed to hydrogen as the fuel of the future for Europe. Delivering assembly-line produced ix35 Fuel Cell is evidence that we have a realistic solution to the region’s sustainable mobility needs.”

    The ix35 Fuel Cell produces no harmful tailpipe emissions – only water vapour – and so its use will help the city of Copenhagen achieve its aim of becoming carbon-neutral by 2025.

    Since 2011, Hyundai Motor has deployed prototypes of its third-generation ix35 Fuel Cell in a wide range of initiatives to raise awareness of hydrogen’s benefits as an automotive fuel; to support the drive for establishing a pan-European refueling infrastructure; and to demonstrate the cars’ real-world practicality to public and private organisations.

    For example, EU policy-makers have access to ix35 Fuel Cell vehicles – via the EU Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) in Brussels – showing the market-readiness of Hyundai Motor’s technology. And, earlier this year, senior representatives from 100 European businesses learned about and tested the ix35 Fuel Cell at a Hyundai Motor event in Berlin.

    Hyundai Motor has been a world leader in the development of hydrogen fuel cell technology ever since research into its first fuel cell began in 1998. The company’s proprietary fuel cell technology is developed at its Eco Technology Research Institute in Korea. Hyundai intends to build 1.000 ix35 Fuel Cell cars by 2015 at its Ulsan factory, also in Korea.

    The ix35 Fuel Cell is equipped with a 100 kW (136 ps) electric motor, and can reach a maximum speed of 160 km/h. Two hydrogen storage tanks, located between the vehicle’s rear axle, with a total capacity of 5,64 kg, enable the vehicle to travel a total of 594 km on a single fuelling. Filling the storage hydrogen tanks to maximum capacity takes just a few minutes.

    The hydrogen from this “H2Station® CAR-100” refuelling station is produced onsite from electrolysis and powered by certified renewable electricity.

    This video shows in time lapse how this hydrogen refuelling station was built in 48 hours. It’s not difficult to vision how a hydrogen refuelling infrastructure will be built – is being built.


    Like it or not, the world will be using hydrogen to power all kinds of machines and devices…

    Research coming out of the University of Wollongong, it appears there’s oceans of the stuff available to us!


    UOW scientists have developed a novel way to turn sea water into hydrogen, for a sustainable and clean fuel source.

    Using this method, as little as five litres of sea water per day would produce enough hydrogen to power an average-sized home and an electric car for one day.

    The research team at UOW’s Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES) have developed a light-assisted catalyst that requires less energy input to activate water oxidation, which is the first step in splitting water to produce hydrogen fuel.

    A major limitation with current technologies is that the oxidation process needs a higher over-potential input, which rules out using abundant sea water because it produces poisonous chlorine gas as a side product under operational conditions.

    The research team, led by Associate Professor Jun Chen and Professor Gerry Swiegers, have produced an artificial chlorophyll on a conductive plastic film that acts as a catalyst to begin splitting water.

    The results were recently published in the journal Chemical Science.

    Lead author, Associate Professor Jun Chen, said the flexible polymer would mean it could be used in a wider range of applications and it is more easily manufactured than metal semiconductors.

    “The system we designed, including the materials, gives us the opportunity to design various devices and applications using sea water as a water-splitting source.

    “The flexible nature of the material also provides the possibility to build portable hydrogen-producing devices.”

    The development brings UOW’s energy research a step closer to creating an artificial leaf-like device that can efficiently produce hydrogen.

    ACES Executive Research Director Professor Gordon Wallace said: “In today’s world the discovery of high performance materials is not enough”.

    “This must be coupled with innovative fabrication to provide practical high-performance devices and this work is an excellent example of that,” he said.

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