Good news for those of us who daydream about the day BMW is handing us a hydrogen-powered 7-series sedan.

Shell Hydrogen, LLC and Virent Energy Systems, Inc. announced a five-year joint development agreement to develop further and commercialize Virent's BioFormingTM technology platform for hydrogen production.

Virent claims to produce hydrogen, among other fuels and chemicals, from renewable sources: glycerol and sugar-based feedtsocks. Currently, most of the available hydrogen is produced using fossil fuels.

Virent and Shell will collaborate on the development and testing of hydrogen systems for fueling stations. If research and development goes to plan, initial deployment of the new technology at a Shell hydrogen fueling station could follow within several years.

We are speaking of an important market that, if given the facilities, can grow immensely. Currently, the worldwide market for distributed and centralized hydrogen is estimated at approximately 45 million tons each year. The pilot experiences of using hydrogen in public transport in Europe used in-house plants that obtained this gas using conventional electric methods.

Hydrogen has not only applications for fuel. It is used in many chemical processes such fertilizer production, oil cracking and other applications such as manufacture of glass, vitamins, personal care products, lubricants, refined metals, and food products.

[Source: Shell, Virent]

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