Background: hydrogen future af

While the 'battery electric vehicles' in a range-race are involved, throw some manufacturers it (also) on a different bow. Hydrogen was long distant future, but a roadtrip through Germany and Denmark in a Toyota Mirai teaches us that the brandstofceltechniek may be closer than we thought. Even flying on hydrogen is in sight.

Fuel cell, fuel cell, hydrogen: for many years flirting with multiple car manufacturers with the opportunity, but almost as long as the phenomenon appears to be the stage of future music not to be able to transcend. Almost, because the last few years there's movement in. Hyundai and Toyota have actually cars on the road driven by a fuel cell to be fed, but also other industries are working hard, the possibilities of this clean energy source to investigate. We drive a round of Germany and Denmark to some of the initiatives to watch, and that's what we do, how appropriate, a CO2-neutral, with a Toyota Mirai. It runs against the end of the morning when we got on the airport of Hanover, the key of our Mirai handed. The only irony is in place: to three days completely emission-free driving, we have the pokkeneindje Schiphol-Hanover by plane taken. Anyway, that we go from now in October. Though it was but to learn that even fly on hydrogen belongs to the possibilities.

The only irony is in place: to three days completely emission-free driving, we have the pokkeneindje Schiphol-Hanover by plane, travelled

Airbus Even more than with cars seems to be hydrogen propulsion future prospects for the aviation industry. However, we are already hard thinking about aircraft fuel cell. In Hamburg we visit WILL, the Centre, or Applies Aeronautical Research, a research laboratory, including more Airbus is working on techniques for the future. In this branch of sport is to think ahead much more important than in cars, explains brandstofcelspecialist Jörg Tappermann of Airbus: "That's mainly because of the lifecycle of a commercial aircraft. Before a unit is ready for production, there are ten to fifteen years of development in the first place. Then is such a vliegtuigmodel twenty to thirty years in production. The last of all produced devices than twenty, à thirty years as passenger aircraft and then they are still ten to twenty years, used as a cargo plane. That means that the decisions you make now, sixty to 95 years are relevant in the daily air traffic. More important for us to now seriously think about hydrogen propulsion. But something changes the whole concept of planes completely, so we have to have a go of the big buyers, before we go on specific devices." Tappermann sketch with words the plane of the future: "Now is the fuel in the wings, but there is too little volume in order to provide sufficient hydrogen to store it. On the form, we can not temper, which is completely dictated by the aerodynamics, so the hydrogen in the hull. That means that the wider it will be." However, he can already have some tangible to show. On a test bench is a complex piece of machinery that is most like a strong gearbox. "This is a working prototype of an APU (Auxilairy Power Unit, red.), a generator for all randsystemen of an airplane turbine. This we can from 2027 to produce. Apart from the ecological advantages compared to the current APU's should still at all airports will continue to run, he is much quieter and much easier to maintain." Also a motor on hydrogen has Airbus already on the drawing board, but there is still no working prototype.

Olympic Games That we have our trip in a hydrogen car, is pretty special. Worldwide in this moment, something more than 7.100 pieces around, of which 60 percent in the United States and a quarter in Japan. Toyota takes the vast majority of which are for the account, 5.500 Mirai's, of which 250 in Europe. Ok this year has been more than 500 Mirai's will be sold, but the big breakthrough is scheduled for 2020. Toyota grabs the Olympic Games in Tokyo to the second generation to launch and at that time to 30,000 hydrogen cars per year of the band rolls.

Toyota grabs the Olypische Games of 2020 to be the next Mirai launch

The German autobahn seems hardly the habitat for a FCEV, but long distance cruising in the Mirai turns out to be a very pleasant activity. Of course, hydrogen must be petrol or diesel, still above; if it is about outreach, but provided you have the trip plans well, with little delay, nice strike. The Mirai has a limited top of 178 km/h (on the counter, we know him at 184 to clocks) and that is more than sufficient to good to come here. But we drive between 130 and 140 km/h and then in practice, a large 400 km are feasible. At this moment Germany forty pumping stations, but that number must be the next time up drastically, we hear during our next stop.

Work Also Shell, that we mainly know from the fossil fuels, is hard thought about hydrogen, so they put us during a visit to the German headquarters in Hamburg. In a study last year prepared in cooperation with the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, concludes Shell that in 2050 113 million hydrogen cars 68 million tonnes of fossil fuel and 200 million tonnes of CO2 need to be able to save. "To make hydrogen a success, good cooperation is crucial," explains outgoing ceo of Shell Germany, Stijn van Els. "The car manufacturers have to the development of brandstofcelauto's continue, governments must be the choice for hydrogen boost, and we, the industry, have to invest in infrastructure and suckling that hydrogen at a competitive price is manufactured." The 40 petrol stations in Germany should, in the short term 400 if the Shell is located, and 350 million euro has been reserved.

When you press the button, upon returning to the Mirai as a dog exhaust pipe is empty

Wind farm With a full tank, we will continue our journey in a northerly direction to Flensburg Denmark in diving. Our destination is Copenhagen, where we energieprovider Energinet get an explanation on how that enormous quantities of H2 will soon be produced in a sustainable way. So, they think together with GasUnie and the Port of Rotterdam authority, after a huge wind farm in the North sea, in the middle of an artificial island where we wind energy is stored as hydrogen in a pipeline to Denmark, the Netherlands and England is transported.

Drip That brings us back to the core of hydrogen. You split H2O, just water, and thus, in H2 (hydrogen) and O2 (oxygen). This is electrical energy, which you for example from a windmill or solar panel involves. The produced hydrogen will be in the car by the fuel cell with oxygen from the air is reduced to water, in which electricity that the electric motors power. You don't have very good attention to chemistry and then to be able to a little further what comes out the exhaust of the Mirai. Indeed, if you are behind another Mirai drive, you can see there is a little water down drip. And to prevent your car your garage is soaked, the Mirai has a button with which you the exhaust can blow drying. When you do that, kitty. That this button is the hondenuitlaatknop is going to be called during our roadtrip, needs probably no explanation.

Extremely high pressure refueling of hydrogen is for those who sometimes on LPG or CNG has driven in large lines a feast of recognition. You put the pump nozzle on the nipple, lock the and the overpressure in the system of the pumping station ensures that your tank volstroomt. But meanwhile, time has not been idle, for what you only through the viewfinder of your digital camera sees, is that the car via infrared with the pump communicates. That ensures that the refuelling begins only when everything is safe. Is the fill of a hydrogen car is so quick and easy, but in this early stage, there are still some bumps to take. Due to the limited number of FCEV's is not yet determined to stand in line at the pump. Normally at least, but because we work with a number of Mirai's on this roadtrip to participate, it is at the gas stations that we visit ever suddenly do pressure. And press, that is what you need to have a hydrogen car to fill. Not such a bit also. For a decent scope to get without too much volume to lose the both tanks full, Mirai 350 bar. Do you want that within an acceptable period of time to fill the pump up to 700 bar supply. The current pumping stations, which is technically still not decorated to the conveyor belt to serve clients, after some fuel purchases made so much pressure lost that we, when we are not among the first to include, almost a half an hour to wait before the pressure is sufficiently restored to our scope again to reset to the desired value. Please note: this is part of pioneering. By the time that cars with fuel cells are common, this problem will, of course, are fixed, and hydrogen refueling as easy as LPG.

H2 Hydrogen is the simplest and first element in the so-called periodic system and, therefore, the smallest and lightest atom. Pure hydrogen is on our planet only as a molecule, H2. Usually we find hydrogen in compounds, including H2O, water, is the most famous. By its typical characteristics does hydrogen almost exclusively in the gaseous state. It has an extremely low boiling point, -252,76 degrees Celcius to be exact and that is close to the absolute zero (-273,15 degrees Celsius). Above that boiling point is a gas (at normal pressure). This is an obstacle in the storage of hydrogen. Normally gases by increasing the pressure of liquid is created, but only under the so-called critical temperature. Above, you can increase the pressure as much as you want, but it's still gas. For hydrogen the critical temperature -239,96 degrees. Due to its extremely low density, it is practically necessary to use hydrogen under high pressure to store. For our branch of the sport, the most important property of hydrogen is its excellent combustibility. In the combustion little heat, but lots of UV radiation. As a result, the flame in daylight it is barely noticeable. The combustion is relatively independent of the concentration: all are between 4 and 77% by volume is sufficient and that makes hydrogen much 'more tolerant' than other gaseous fuels that we now use.

This story appeared earlier in the Season 29/2018