Brazil, the world's largest ethanol producer, announced it will be conducting two projects investigating the use of hydrogen as a fuel for buses.

The first will be to implement a test fleet of 5 buses in Sao Paulo that run on hydrogen fuel cells. After the four-year experiment, assuming the hydrogen buses "pass" the test, the fleet may be expanded to 200 buses.

The second is a research and development project in hydrogen production which will supply hydrogen developed from natural gas to a single bus that will run in Rio de Janeiro. It is slated to begin next year at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and will involve the participation of Petrobras (the state-owned oil company), bus manufacturers and other scientific institutions.

Antonio Nunes Junior, President of the Brazilian Association of Electric Vehicles (ABVE) says that the project in Rio de Janiero is "to develop the technology and research," while the experiment in Sao Paul is focused on testing the buses in real-world conditions.

Nunes also states that the 43 hybrid buses currently in use in the Sao Paulo metropolitan area are a good transition option, "because the outlook for hydrogen isn't clear."

[Source: Inter Press Service News Agency]

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