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IOC to Set up India's First Hydrogen Fuel Station

By Motortrend India Staff   |   04 January,2009

Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), one of the biggest oil companies in India, has announced to open a hydrogen fuel-dispensing bunk in Dwarka, New Delhi.

Hydrogen fuel is eco-friendly compared to the other conventional fuels like the petrol, diesel, and the CNG as it emits out water unlike other fuels which expel noxious gases.

While conventional fossil fuels like the petrol, diesel, and the CNG are derived from raw materials such as crude oil or gas. The hydrogen fuel uses atmospheric air to synthesise pure hydrogen. The process is called “electroliser” technology.

According to R.K. Malhotra, IOC’s Executive Director (Research and Development), “IOC has taken this step to diversify the energy mix of the country which ultimately results in energy security in the future”.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas funded the project with an investment of Rs 5 Crore for the set up of the fuel pump.

In 2006, the Indian government had started the National Hydrogen Energy Roadmap with an aim to convert one million vehicles to run on hydrogen. At present none of the car manufacturers in India offer hydrogen-fuel celled cars but there is possibility of these cars to come to India soon.

General Motors India has announced that their next-generation cars will be hydrogen fuelled under validation in the US. Equinox, a hydrogen-powered fuel cell car has been verified by IOC as a possible test vehicle in India.

BMW, the luxury car manufacturer has also introduced a fleet of cars that runs on pure hydrogen in the European market. But the hydrogen used in these cars is qualitatively different from the one that will be experimented in India.

Initially, CNG vehicles owners will be targeted in the capital city, public transport vehicle operators, goods carriers and passenger car owners as these vehicles can be run on a mixture of hydrogen fuel with little modifications. However, use of 100 percent hydrogen as auto fuel will require a complete new engine.

Hydrogen fuel is considered to be superior to the CNG in terms of fuel economy, price as well as emission. The hydrogen fuel pump will dispense a mixture of hydrogen and CNG in the ratio of 20:80.

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