Hydrogen Transport Fuel
R&D challenges towards a Sustainable hydrogen economy for transport applications
Hubart Gasteicher, professor at Technical University Munich, gave the Van ‘t Hoff lecture on hydrogen and fuel cells at Technical University Delft, 14th of June 2018. Hubart showed that for car travel ranges in between “tanking” of 300 km and beyond hydrogen in combination with a fuel cell has potentially lower investment cost per car than electrical cars. The rational is that electrical car cost increase linearly with kilometer range, while hydrogen and fuel cell cost are nearly independent of the kilometer range, as only a larger hydrogen tank is needed.
He also presented the idea of producing hydrogen locally at the fuel stations, so that no transport from a hydrogen factory to the stations is needed. As electrolysis cell technology cost linearly scale with capacity the production cost per kg of hydrogen does not increase at smaller scale.
Hubart then showed all the R&D challenges to obtain a sufficiently low-cost fuel cell. One of the major challenges is to require far less Iridium for the fuel cell, as present Iridium mining is far too limited to allow hydrogen plus fuel cell as a world-wide solution for car transport.