Japan eyes oil refineries as a source of hydrogen for vehicles

Nikkei, a Japanese news outlet, reports that Japan's government is expected to launch a public-private initiative aimed at developing technology that will allow hydrogen that is currently utilized in the oil refining process to be manipulated into a source of power for fuel-cell vehicles. Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) is seeking a secure and readily available supply of hydrogen and believes that high-purity H2 can be obtained from oil refineries that are scattered across the island nation. However, hydrogen used in fuel-cell vehicles typically needs to be 99.99 pure, whereas the H2 that could come from the oil refining industry in this way has significantly more impurities.

METI, along with many unlisted collaborative partners, hopes to develop technology that can extract high-purity hydrogen from the less-than-pure H2 used in oil refining. The project is estimated to cost 500 million yen ($6.2 million U.S. at the current exchange rate) and should be completed by the end of 2014. METI is willing to dish out enough money to cover half of the program's total costs. Hat tip to Roy!

[Source: Green Car Congress | Image : Lori Doty – C.C. License 2.0]

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