There is a lot of talk about the hydrogen technology of the future. In fact, there are great hopes for this element, especially in the field of energy storage and commonly used vehicle drives. However, many headlines are misleading: hydrogen solutions for industry and transport have existed for a long time. The aim of the work is to improve it so that hydrogen is widely used in a safe and efficient manner.

Green energy of the future

Hydrogen is often called the green energy of the future. This slogan refers to the gradual exclusion of hydrocarbon (petroleum) fuels in favor of environmentally clean power sources. Currently, electric batteries are a more widespread technology. However, they have many disadvantages: from their weight, through high power losses during charging and use, to problems with their recycling.

This does not mean, however, that the more promising hydrogen fuel is no longer used today. There are many hydrogen production plants for industry, although its applications are often not related to hydrogen energy (this element is added to food and also participates in many refinery and metallurgical processes). However, the availability of this fuel allows us to launch the first hydrogen-powered vehicles.

Hydrogen in transport

Hydrogen technologies in transport are giving way to petroleum fuels and batteries. So have any fuel-powered vehicles of the future already been created?

  • For people unfamiliar with the technology of the future, it may be a shock that the first car powered by this element was created in 1966. However, the Electrovan from General Motors that was created at that time was not safe enough and its weight exceeded 3 tons. Toyota Mirai, on the market since 2014, is a mass-produced hydrogen car.
  • Hydrogen buses took longer to hit the roads. Nevertheless, at the end of last year the first hydrogen model from Solaris arrived in Warsaw, and this year NesoBus appeared in the capital. Its range is as much as 450 km (in the city), and refueling time is limited to 15 minutes. Work is also underway on the hydrogen version of Pilea H2 from ARP E-Vehicles.
  • Hydrogen energy also appeared in trains. For now abroad, but there is also a Polish project in development, which is expected to end in 2024 with the presentation of a ready hydrogen train.
  • Ships? Edda Breeze, a hydrogen ship from Norway, is gaining popularity.
  • Aviation is also slowly being decarbonized. In March 2023, the first test flight of a hydrogen-powered aircraft took place. Airbus, on the other hand, announces the introduction of commercial hydrogen aircraft into service.

As you can see, the fuel of the future is already being used widely today.

The future of hydrogen fuels

Hydrogen energy allows for the conversion of green electricity (for example from solar farms or wind turbines) into mobile fuel for vehicles. The high efficiency of this process, safety and zero emissions associated with hydrogen fuel are the key to the decarbonization of industry and transport. It should be remembered that green hydrogen is a type of energy storage: its production via electrolysis requires only electricity obtained from natural sources. In this way, the overproduction of green energy will not be wasted, but converted into a very useful fuel.

We are already achieving significant successes in this field, but work is still ongoing to improve hydrogen technology and its storage. Many projects regarding the fuel of the future are also underway in Poland – they concern buses, trains and industrial technologies.

Do you realize that innovative solutions based on hydrogen technology are revolutionizing industry and transport?

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