Clemson researchers seek answers to U.S. transportation needs
Global Heating: Why We Must Shift To Carbon-Free Fuels: Parts 1 and 2
Hydrogen Cars Will Need Mult-Billion Dollar Jumpstart, Experts Warn.
International Hydrogen Race to come to Columbia in conjunction with National Hydrogen Association Cenference
Clemson researchers seek answers to U.S. transportation needs
CLEMSON UNIVERSITY — Running your car on leftover cooking grease or stopping at the nearby hydrogen station to fill up before a weekend-trip may seem remote to the average driver.
But as the cost of gasoline continues to skyrocket, ideas once thought futuristic are closer than you think.
Researches at Clemson University and across the country in the fields of chemistry, biology and engineering, are working to perfect inexpensive and more efficient fuel sources from grass, peaches, vegetable oil, algae, hydrogen and even animal fats.
“The reality is with the price of oil going up as much as it has, it is stimulating the search for alternative fuel,” said Jim Goodwin, chairman of the Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at Clemson University.
“All of the things we are doing are things that can have an impact in the short term, let’s say five years,” he said. “This is not sort of high-in-the-sky research.”
Already popular in Europe, biodiesel is a non-petroleum-based fuel made from domestic, renewable resources such as vegetable oil.
Terry Walker, an associate professor of bioprocess engineering, focuses primarily on the biological aspects of ethanol and biodiesel research. His research is trying to perfect the use of resources like switch grass for fuel. He said switch grass is easy to grow and naturally abundant, unlike corn, another resource popular in biodiesel, which takes a lot of water and energy to make.
Chris Przirembel, vice president for research and economic development at Clemson, said switch grass would make a good fuel locally.
“Not only are we making alternative fuels, but we’re taking advantage of agriculture that’s available in South Carolina, particularly focusing on the Interstate 95corridor,” Przirembel said. The corridor refers to the route to Florence, where the university also has research under way.Walker said one area of research is to find different types of vegetable oil to use in cars.While excess cooking oil from local restaurants is becoming popular for some, oil from corn and other food sources also can be used. He said some research is trying to use sources other than edible plants, because of fears that the fuel industry would compete with food consumption.
Hybrid cars that run on biodiesel engines and electric motor power are also in the future, according to Walker. He said diesel engines are twice as efficient as gasoline engines.
“The efficiency of a biodiesel hybrid is about 45 percent efficient; a gasoline tank by itself is about 16 percent efficient,” Walker said. This means for every gallon of gas in a car, only 16 percent is actually used to drive the car. He said the rest of the gas is converted into heat and pollution.
“Once you understand that (efficiency), (diesel) cars will come here quickly,” Walker said. He said many of these solutions could occur in the next two years.
Steve Creager, professor of chemistry at Clemson, works on a research team to perfect fuel cells into something that will transport protons formed from hydrogen. He said it is a long-term vision of which Clemson researchers are a small player.
“We want to go to an energy infrastructure in which gasoline is not the energy carrier and use hydrogen as the carrier,” Creager said. “Instead of gas stations, you have hydrogen stations.
” According to Creager, hydrogen is a renewable source that solar energy will help fuel at the pump. Creager explained that energy from the sun would help fuel hydrogen protons in fuel tanks.
“I see this as something that will happen when market forces go down,” he said. “The price point to start changing our habits is $4. When it’s $20 people will really change. The world will then be desperate for an infrastructure.
” Goodwin predicts that although hydrogen-based fuel cells will become a more popular mode of transportation, it may still be 50 years down the road before a hydrogen fuel cell is economical for transportation.
David Bodde, senior fellow of Clemson’s Spiro Institute and university faculty member, agreed that it still could be 20 years before the nation sees a complete change in its transportation economy. He predicts that a transition technology such as a hybrid electric vehicle will eventually lead the nation to a complete hydrogen economy or an all-electric economy.
“There is not a single solution, not a single silver bullet that we can shoot to make this
problem go away,” Bodde said of the rising cost of fuel. “Each line of research and
commercialization work to make a little piece of the energy problem better.”
Why We Must Shift To Carbon Free Fuels: Part 1
Even among the Merely Moderately Enlightened, Global Warming is no longer an issue. The Bali Roadmap of last December and the forceful reports earlier last year by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have, at long last, produced basic agreement that we have to get serious about fighting global warming.
The elephant in the room is, "How"?
The arguably best answer came from Europe's parliamentarians in Strasbourg in May 2007. The European Parliament overwhelmingly adopted a declaration calling for a green hydrogen economy and "a third industrial revolution."
The revolution has in fact started in different parts of the world but it's still puny and an iffy proposition. One revolutionary example that is most impressive right now in terms of funding and scope is in an, at first blush, unlikely place, Abu Dhabi. There, the government has launched the Masdar Initiative, a $15 billion undertaking that includes construction of Masdar City, a car- and waste-free city of 50,000 to be powered entirely by solar, wind and hydrogen energy, including a 420 Megawatt super-efficient power plant fueled by hydrogen derived from natural gas which so far has been reinjected into oil fields to enhance oil production. This is not some Fata Morgana shimmering in the desert: Ground was broken in mid-February, and participants and contractors include international heavyweights such as British architect Sir Norman Foster as master planner; the American construction management firm of CH2M HILL, and the UK's British Petroleum and Rio Tinto in a joint venture to design and build the hydrogen power plant. The Masdar organizers say it is the most ambitious government-funded sustainability program ever. The $15 billion are apparently only seed money; the Initiative expects to attract additional funding for other sustainable energy projects in other parts of the Middle East and elsewhere.
The basic issues are no longer in doubt then, despite what persistent naysayers such as Senator James Imhofe and Rush Limbaugh claim. We all know by now the principal culprit is man-made CO2, produced by burning fossil fuels in trains, planes, automobiles etc. Less well known is that CO2 stays in the atmosphere a lot longer than previously believed: hundreds, maybe thousands of years - for all practical purposes, "forever," according to eminent NASA climatologist Jim Hansen. Thus, stabilizing and reducing global CO2 levels in our atmosphere must become a global priority.
As IPCC chairman R. K. Pachauri explained in his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, to stabilize carbon dioxide emissions at 445 to 490 parts per million (ppm), essential to holding global temperature increases to around 2 deg. Celsius, CO2 emissions will have to peak between NOW and 2015 and then decline. THAT' SEVEN YEARS FROM NOW! Hansen sets the limit radically lower even at 350 ppm: In his view, another 2 degree Celsius is a recipe for global disaster, he told the House Select Committee on Energy in June (the current level is about 385 ppm, according to the most recent NOAA data)
But even if stabilization were achieved - unlikely given the glacially slow attempts at climate amelioration - global sea levels are likely to continue to rise above pre-industrial levels somewhere between 40 centimeters and 1.4 meters, according to Pachauri (Hansen says it's more like 2 meters, and we're getting dangerously close to the "tipping point.")
A solution that's been studied exhaustively all over the world at least since the 1970s is to substitute the quintessential carbon-free, by definition environmentally benign, chemical hydrogen for fossil fuels.
In the United States, however, hydrogen has in recent years largely slipped off the radar screen of public interest, elbowed aside by other suggestions such as a carbon tax and carbon trading, carbon sequestration, tougher energy conservation, higher energy-efficiency standards, alternatives such as plug-in hybrids, bio-fuels and bio-diesel, ethanol, clean coal, wind and wave power, solar and geothermal energy and nuclear power.
All are helpful and are to be applauded, but they won't be sufficient. We must stop putting carbon into the air in the first place--not take it out afterwards--and we must start moving towards a carbon-free chemical fuel--hydrogen - NOW to begin veering away from catastrophe. Both short-term and longer-term approaches are needed, especially given the rapidly growing economies of China and India. While the ultimate goal is renewable hydrogen, the magnitude of the energy challenge dictates the use of hydrogen produced for now from major energy sources such as coal (with carbon sequestration) and nuclear.
Hydrogen, an energy carrier and not an energy source, can serve to unite just about all other forms of energy. Today, it is produced most economically from natural gas - ultimately, a dead end. In the future, renewable hydrogen can be obtained by splitting water via electrolysis with solar electricity, for example; from biofuels and biomethane and many other sources like that other energy carrier, electricity, which is also generated from many sources.
There is a beautiful symmetry in the fact that hydrogen and electricity are complementary: hydrogen can be produced from water by running an electric current through it in an electrolyzer. When reversing the process in a fuel cell - an electrolyzer running backwards! - hydrogen recombines electrochemically with the air's oxygen to produce electricity, pure water and some heat. Geoffrey Ballard, founder of fuel cell maker Ballard Power Systems, has coined the term "hydricity" to describe this symbiosis. Hydrogen can replace fossil fuels in almost all applications. Claude Roulet, an executive with a company intimately linked to Big Oil, Schlumberger Carbon Services, has said that while electricity was the energy carrier of the last two centuries, "hydrogen is the energy carrier of the 21st century."
The big problem is that the United States is in danger of falling behind Europe and Japan in recognizing hydrogen's value and in providing the consistent, long-term investment necessary. Here, hydrogen is frequently undervalued even by many clean-energy advocates as still too far in the future, as too inefficient; biofuels or renewably-generated electricity as well as all the other market-manipulative suggestions are frequently touted as better, nearer-term solutions to the CO2 threat. It has created divisions and acrimonious fights among clean energy supporters. Last December, the "Los Angeles Times" reported what has been brewing underground for some time, namely, that the supporters of the two principal green transportation technologies, hydrogen fuel cells and plug-in hybrids, are "squared off in an increasingly bitter fight........vying for publicity, manufacturer acceptance, favorable regulation and, especially, funding for research and investment in infrastructure and marketing."
Recently, it has become clear that biofuels are problematical and probably not the total answer. Earlier this year two back-to-back studies in "Science," concluded that biofuels may be as much or more of a greenhouse gas menace as today's gasoline and diesel: In the words of one scientist, "most of the biofuel that people are using or planning to use would probably increase greenhouse gases substantially." Other media reports say that increasingly unpredictable weather and crop growing seasons, perhaps due in part to global warming, may make both food and fuel production even more of a crapshoot.
The flip side, the potential for producing much more carbon-free chemical fuel per acre via solar and wind energy converted to hydrogen, were explained last fall by a German think tank, LBST (Ludwig Boelkow Systemtechnik), that has done a great deal of work for the European Union and well-to-wheel studies for General Motors. The bottom line was that renewable electricity generated from photovoltaics and wind and used to split water can generate as much as ten times the amount of energy in form of hydrogen fuel than could be produced from the same acreage as biofuel. Photovoltaics were found to produce the most fuel per acre, but wind would still be better than biofuels, and it would have the added advantage of retaining much of the farm land - under some scenarios, as much as 99% - to grow crops.
Why We Must Shift To Carbon Free Fuels: The Doers Part 2
One of the best hands-on examples of far-sighted thinking is provided perhaps by the folks who are frequently denigrated as dragging their heels when it comes to innovations -- the car-makers. With billions of dollars in future sales and their very survival at stake, almost all the major ones believe hydrogen is the long-term key to reducing the global warming threat by avoiding putting CO2 into the atmosphere in the first place.
Manufacturers such as GM, BMW, Daimler, Chrysler, Honda and Toyota are starting to place fleets of around 100 hydrogen cars each -- both fuel cell and with internal-combustion engines - into the hands of ordinary drivers in the U.S., Europe and Asia (including China) to gain operational data, market experience -- and as public relations/public education exercises. Honda executives made what to date are the most emphatically positive statements during June launch ceremonies of the world's first dedicated fuel cell car plant in Japan:
"Basically, we can mass produce these now," Kazuaki Umezu, head of Honda's New Model Center, was quoted in the June 17 New York Times as saying. "We're waiting for the infrastructure to catch up." Added his boss, Honda president Takeo Fukui, "this is a must-have technology for the future of the earth [...] Honda will work hard to mainstream fuel cell cars."
Still, it's a way to go. En route, the manufacturers will have to pass through a financial "Valley of Death," as GM's fuel-cell chief, Byron McCormick, put it to a DOE advisory committee in January 2007. The current batch of vehicles cost around $1 million each. But that's already history, and costs are coming down. Carmakers plan to produce around 500 vehicles in the 2010 to 2012 "pilot commercialization phase" at about $250,000 each, McCormick said. The "early commercialization phase" starting around 2013 is expected to see each manufacturer produce perhaps 10,000 vehicles costing around $50,000 in the first year, and then dropping to, hopefully, much lower numbers by 2015.
Fuel and fuel-cell costs, and a lack of fueling infrastructure, are still problematical but solvable with strong political will and close industry-government cooperation. Efforts to figure out these and other problems -- onboard hydrogen storage, for instance -- still need a lot of work. One survey last year found that more than 160 hydrogen stations were likely to be up and running by the end of that year worldwide. A German web database, HyWeb, says the total number of stations existing, planned, or already shut down is now about 300. GM's research vice president Larry Burns has said the U.S. would need about 12,000 fueling stations to meet 70 % of the country's hydrogen fueling needs -- a fairly small number considering there are an estimated 170,000 regular gas stations in the U.S.
As to fuel costs, GM said a couple of years ago that even at $5 per kilogram of hydrogen (a kg of hydrogen has about the same energy content as a gallon of gas), fuel cell cars potentially could provide transport at about 10 cents/mile, assuming the fuel cell has about 2.5 times the efficiency of a gasoline engine with comparable power. And fuel cell production costs, computed on the basis of producing 500,000 units annually, are now estimated by DOE to be about $94/kW -- a lot less than the baseline $275 estimate of 2002, but still far above the 2015 target of $30 -- very roughly the ballpark cost of today's internal-combustion engines.
The Revolution Has Started
The good news is that the revolution has started, with budding, albeit still
examples sprouting Johnny Appleseed-style all over the globe. A few random examples:
-- The next three Olympic Games in Beijing this year, Vancouver in 2010, and London in 2012 will feature hydrogen-powered vehicles, including buses, probably some VIP cars, with both fuel cell and internal combustion engines, to help force hydrogen into the transport system;
-- A Caterpillar diesel mine loader is being converted to fuel cell power by Vehicle Projects, of Denver, CO. Vehicle Power is also converting a 123-ton diesel-electric railyard switching locomotive to fuel cells;
-- A Caterpillar farm tractor has been modified by a student team at the University of North Dakota to run partially on hydrogen. Adding hydrogen to the fuel stream cleans up the diesel fuel, reduces emissions and improves power and torque;
-- Japan's Railway Technical Research Institute is testing a 33-on suburban railway train powered by a 125 kW Nuvera PEM fuel cell;
-- A fuel cell-powered tricycle, called a Cargobike, is being tried out by the German phone company Telekom as service vehicle for its technicians in Berlin. It can carry up to about 300 pounds of tools and equipment up to 156 miles on about 90 grams of hydrogen as fuel for its small 250 W PEM fuel cell. Best of all, you can ride it on bicycle paths around the city, bypassing any traffic jams - and you don't need a drivers license.
-- A solar hydrogen generator that may be truly revolutionary has been developed by a small Massachusetts startup company, Nanoptek. Essentially the device splits water into hydrogen and oxygen with the help of titanium oxide, a phenomenon first discovered by a couple of Japanese scientists in the 1070s. But normal titanium oxide can use only the ultraviolet part of the solar spectrum for that, and that isn't very efficient. Nanoptek now has applied advanced nanotechnology to "strain" the titanium oxide with the result that it now accepts also visible light to break up water molecules, making the whole process much more efficient and economical. Nanoptek hasn't divulged any details such as efficiencies and solar conversion rates, but it expects its technology will eventually produce hydrogen fuel that will be cost-competitive with gasoline.
-- An automated high-volume fuel cell assembly line has been developed by a California fuel cell developer, Altergy Systems in Folsom, for small hydrogen fuel cells for telecommunication and utility companies and governments -- the world's first. Altergy says automation and volume cuts the cost of the units in about half;
-- In New Jersey, inventor and long-time hydrogen developer Mike Strizki is now showing visitors his house in Hopewell converted to grid-independent solar hydrogen operation (including hydrogen for his fuel cell car), the subject of a long article in the New York Times magazine in May 2007. It's pricey: the conversion cost about $500,000, but his next project in the Cayman Islands is expected to cost less than half of that. His third client appears to be actor Johnny Depp who wants to convert his Caribbean island home to Strizki's system, and Strizki says several others are in the pipeline. Other solar hydrogen houses have been built or converted on Long Island; near Wiscasset, ME; on Stuart Island, WA; in Indonesia, and, decades ago, in Freiburg, Germany, and Switzerland;
-- In Iceland, the New Frontier of the coming global hydrogen economy, Hertz is already offering hydrogen-fueled converted Priuses as rental cars for tourists. Both Iceland and Norway have ordered dozens of them from California's Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide for fleet operations and testing, along with hydrogen cars -- both fuel-cell and internal-combustion engines - from Daimler and Mazda;
-- One truly exciting idea with a whiff of "disruptive technology" is the concept of a high-speed liquid hydrogen-powered cargo catamaran freighter presented at the 2006 World Hydrogen Energy Conference in Lyons, France by a young Dutch naval engineer, Ivo Veldhuis. His "H2Oceanjet" would be 175 meters (575 feet) long, would be powered by four huge liquid hydrogen-fueled turbines that would drive equally huge waterjets at speeds of up to 64 knots (73 miles/hour) - more than twice the speed of current container ships. It would cover the 4,838 nautical miles ( 5,567 miles) from Yokohoma to Long Beach, CA in about 76 hours.
-- Hydrogen and fuel cells are even taking to the air: In Europe, two teams, one
in Turin, Italy, sponsored by the European Union, and another organized by Boeing and headquartered
Madrid, Spain, are converting a very light Czech two-seater and an Austrian motorglider, respectively, to hybrid fuel cell/battery electric engines, with the fuel cells for both coming from a British company, Intelligent Energy. (Russian airplane manufacturer Tupolev flew one of its big three-engined TU 154 jetliners partially on liquid hydrogen in the late 1980s, and both Lockheed and Airbus made plans, never realized, for experimental liquid hydrogen-fueled passenger and transport jets). Looking to the far future, the European Union is currently helping fund a European Space Agency study of a liquid hydrogen-fueled hypersonic transport plane quaintly named LAPCAT (for Long-Term Advanced Propulsion Concepts and Technologies) that could whisk 300 passengers in about 2-4 hours from Brussels to Sydney, Australia;
-- And finally, a Motorola cell phone prototype powered with a tiny hydrogen fuel cell developed by a Canadian startup, Angstrom Power, Inc., was shown in January at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Angstrom says the fuel cell should roughly double the phone's run time, and refueling with hydrogen should take about 10 minutes.
The revolution has started, but it needs a much bigger push, and more convincing of many people, to really succeed. Hydrogen isn't the only weapon in the fight against global heating, but it's an essential element.
Peter Hoffmann is editor and publisher of "The Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Letter,"
Hydrogen Cars Will Need Mult-Billion Dollar Jumpstart, Experts Warn.
WASHINGTON, DC, July 18, 2008 (ENS) - It will take massive subsidies from the U.S. government to make hydrogen fuel cell vehicles a significant part of the nation's transportation future, according to a National Research Council report released Thursday. The study finds that even under a best-case scenario only about two million hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will be on American roads by 2020, less than one percent of the nation's estimated total number of cars and trucks.
Achieving that goal would require the government to pump at least $55 billion in subsidies over the next 15 years to make hydrogen vehicles cost competitive with conventional cars and trucks, the report concluded. Current government spending has equaled some $879 million since 2004.
But the chair of the committee that wrote the report said the suggested
government funding should be put in perspective with other subsidies.
Dr. Mike Ramage (Photo courtesy Purdue University)
If current funding and policies continue, the federal subsidy for corn-based ethanol over the same time period is on pace to reach $160 billion, said Mike Ramage, a former vice president for research and development at Exxon Mobil and chair of the 17-member panel.
"We need durable, substantial and sustainable government help to make this happen, just as there is for ethanol," he said.
The 249 page report, which was requested by the U.S. Energy Department, contends that the funding may well be worth it as it could set the stage for accelerated adoption of hydrogen vehicles by mid-century.
The allure of hydrogen fuel cells is their potential to help shift the U.S. transportation sector away from oil and to cut emissions linked to climate change. The only byproduct from a hydrogen fuel cell is water.
The environmental benefits of hydrogen would be "less in the early years but would be dominant" over a longer time period, Ramage told reporters on a telephone briefing.
The committee's best case scenario envisions that if the technical and economic obstacles are overcome in the next 15 years, the growth of the technology could accelerate dramatically.
The Honda FCX Clarity hydrogen car is available in California for limited leasing for the first time this summer. (Photo courtesy Honda American Motors)
It suggests the number of hydrogen vehicles on U.S. roads could jump to nearly 60 million in 2035 and to 200 million by 2050.
This shift could reduce the U.S. transportation sector's oil consumption some 60 to 70 percent by 2050.
But the obstacles blocking the technology are daunting, the committee acknowledged, and overcoming them would require continued technical improvements, cost reductions and government policies and funding to encourage adoption of the hydrogen vehicles.
There is little existing capacity for hydrogen production, which remains expensive, and although major automakers are dabbling with the technology, fuel cells still face challenges of storage, cost, reliability and safety.
And the most significant hurdle could be the high cost and logistical complexity of distributing hydrogen to fueling stations across the nation.
These challenges are why the government would need to spend billions of dollars just to get two million hydrogen cars and trucks on the road by 2020, according to the panel.
The report suggests that government funding be used to purchase hydrogen vehicles to replace about half of the government's fleet of cars and trucks and to help consumers keen on the technology afford the new vehicles.
The Toyota Fuel Cell Hydrogen Hybrid Vehicle was introduced in fall 2007. (Photo courtesy Hydrogen Cars Now)
"It is very important to get those hydrogen vehicles on the road and get real world experience with this," Ramage said.
The cost issue for consumers is "a much greater challenge" than the industry's ability to ramp up production, he added.
A sizeable chunk would need to be spent on subsidies for fuel stations, the committee said, to get round the "chicken and egg problem."
The report notes that companies are reluctant to spend much money on fueling stations until a significant numbers of hydrogen cars have been sold. Similarly, automakers are unlikely to sell many vehicles until an adequate number of fueling stations are available.
"A way around this quandary is to stage hydrogen fuel cell vehicle introduction in phases by region," the committee said.
The report also estimates about $5 billion in federal funds be spent on research and development and $10 billion be earmarked for hydrogen production.
The committee noted that a key to the environmental benefits of hydrogen cars is how the fuel is produced. Hydrogen produced from coal or other fossil fuels lessens the reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
The report suggests policies are needed to promote low-carbon hydrogen production, including carbon capture and storage technology, and assumes advances in coal gasification under its "best-case" scenario.
The Ford Flexible Series Edge is a plug-in hybrid hydrogen vehicle, introduced in 2007. (Photo courtesy Hydrogen Cars Now)
Although the report centered on hydrogen technology, Ramage told reporters that the committee concluded the government should not focus solely on hydrogen fuel cells as the solution to reducing the environmental impact of the nation's transportation sector.
The greatest possible reductions in oil consumption and greenhouse gas emissions would occur if biofuels, fuel-efficient conventional vehicles and hydrogen vehicles are all pursued simultaneously, he explained.
"There are other technologies that fit in this mix that we did not look at," he added, noting the committee did not consider plug-in hybrids or electric vehicles - technologies that some environmentalists contend offer far more short-term environmental benefits than hydrogen cars.
"This study clearly indicates we don't think people should be picking winners and losers," Ramage said. "They probably will all be important in the long run."
To find the National Research Council report, "Transitions to Alternative Transportation Technologies: A Focus on Hydrogen," click here.
International Hydrogen Race to come to Columbia in conjunction with National Hydrogen Association Cenference
Washington, D.C. and Columbia, S.C. – The National Hydrogen Association and South Carolina Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Alliance will host Formula Zero’s Student Edition Championship race at the 20th Anniversary NHA Conference and Hydrogen Expo in Columbia, South Carolina,
March 30 – April 3, 2009. Formula Zero is an international championship race series among six university teams from Europe and the United States. Teams compete in the design, building, and racing of karts powered entirely by zero-emission hydrogen fuel cells.
“We are thrilled to host the NHA Conference and the Formula Zero race next March,” said Shannon Baxter-Clemmons, Executive Director of the South Carolina Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Alliance (SCHFCA). “The City of Columbia and our state have recognized the importance of hydrogen and fuel cells in solving energy, climate and economic issues, and we’re excited for them to play a role in how our initiatives develop.”
Based in the Netherlands, Formula Zero was founded in 2003 by designers Godert van Hardenbroek and Eelco Rietveld. “The South Carolina location promises to draw fans of racing, which is an excellent way to capture the public’s interest and imagination in regard to this vital energy technology,” said Godert van Hardenbroek, managing director of Formula Zero.
The Formula Zero race will take place on Saturday and Sunday, March 28 and 29, 2009 as a kickoff to the week-long, 20th Anniversary NHA Conference and Hydrogen Expo. This race is scheduled to be the third of four races in Formula Zero’s inaugural Student Edition Championship Series. The first race is in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, August 22-23, 2008. Other races are scheduled for Zaragoza, Spain and London, England. The six university teams are: Lawrence Technological University (metropolitan Detroit, Michigan); EuplaTech (Zaragoza, Spain); University of Technology Delft (Delft, The Netherlands); Imperial College (London, England); University of California Los Angeles; and Groep T Leuven Engineering School (Leuven, Belgium).
“Engaging students in technology innovation through Formula Zero is a crucial part of growing the hydrogen industry” said NHA President Jeff Serfass, “We’re proud to host this first of a kind competition in conjunction with the largest hydrogen conference in the U.S. so the student teams can showcase their designs and share hydrogen technologies with the public.”
Formula Zero is currently seeking sponsorship for the South Carolina race. Current sponsors include the U.S. Department of Energy and National Renewable Energy Laboratories. Interested parties should contact North American Sponsorship Representative, Leif Gruenberg, at 248.688.2116 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the South Carolina Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Alliance
The SCHFCA is a public-private collaboration for cooperative and coordinated utilization of resources in the state used to advance the commercialization of hydrogen and fuel cell
technologies. Founded in January 2006, the SCHFCA was created by six core organizations devoted to hydrogen and fuel cell initiatives: The Center for Hydrogen Research, Clemson University, Savannah River National Laboratory, the S.C. Department of Commerce, S.C. State University and the University of South Carolina. For more information on the SCHFCA and its members, please visit www.schydrogen.org.
About Formula Zero
Formula Zero is a first-of-its-kind hydrogen fuel cell racing series. Founded in 2003, Formula Zero launches its official racing history in August 2008 with the first of three annual Student Edition Championship Races in which university teams design, build and race hydrogen –fueled, zeroemission
karts on a specially designed mobile track taken to cities around the world. The second phase of Formula Zero, the City Edition Championships, is scheduled to commence in 2011 and features scaled-up, faster, open-wheel racers from university and automotive manufacturer teams on city streets in key worldwide metropolitan markets. The final phase of Formula Zero, the fullscale Circuit Edition, is scheduled to commence in 2015, and features professional racing comparable in every way to present-day formula–style racing, with the notable difference that the vehicles are 100% hydrogen-powered and the entire race is 100% zero emissions, with all energy used supplied by renewable resources. For more information on Formula Zero, please visit www.formulazero.nl.
About the National Hydrogen Association
The National Hydrogen Association is a membership organization founded by a
group of ten industry, university, research, and small business members in 1989. Today the NHA is
the largest hydrogen association in the world with over 100 corporate members, including
representatives from the automobile industry; the fuel cell industry; aerospace; federal, state,
and local government; energy providers; and many other industry stakeholders. The NHA serves as a
catalyst for information exchange and cooperative projects and provides the setting for mutual
support among industry, government, and research/academic organizations. For more information,
please visit www.HydrogenAssociation.org. For more information on the NHA Conference and Hydrogen