Title: Hydrogen-fuelled vehicles

Authors: T.E. Lipman, M.A. DeLucchi

Addresses: Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California at Davis, Davis, California, 95616, USA. ' Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California at Davis, Davis, California, 95616, USA

Abstract: We review the production, distribution, storage, combustion, environmental impacts, safety, regulation, and lifecycle costs of hydrogen as a fuel for motor vehicles. We find that: (1) steam reformation of natural gas is the most economical means of producing hydrogen. but renewable sources may become cost competitive early in the next century; (2) given the difficulties in constructing a dedicated hydrogen infrastructure, small-scale, decentralized reformation along existing natural gas lines would be the preferable means of distribution for the near-term; (3) of the many ways to store hydrogen onboard a vehicle, no method (yet) is inexpensive, lightweight, and compact: (4) hydrogen engines produce an order of magnitude less hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, greenhouse gases, and toxic air pollutants than do controlled gasoline engines: (5) hydrogen|s dangers are different from but not necessarily worst than those of gasoline; and (6) hydrogen combustion vehicles will be more expensive on a lifecycle basis than conventional vehicles, but hydrogen fuel cell vehicles could be cost competitive due to high efficiencies and long component lifetimes.

Keywords: air pollution; climate change; combustion; energy efficiency; fuel cells; alternative fuels; hydrogen production; hydrogen distribution; hydrogen storage; hydrogen combustion; environmental impact; hydrogen safety; hydrogen regulation; lifecycle costs; steam reformation; natural gas.

DOI: 10.1504/IJVD.1996.061885

International Journal of Vehicle Design, 1996 Vol.17 No.5/6, pp.562 - 589

Available online: 28 May 2014 *

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