US airport goes for Australian company�s alternative fuel

SAN Francisco International Airport will convert 14 diesel and gasoline-fuelled shuttle buses to run on Hythane, a patented blend of 20% hydrogen and 80% natural gas, the rights to which are held by Australian-listed Eden Energy.

The airport corporation and Eden’s United States subsidiary, Hythane Company, received a $US499,800 grant from regional government agency Bay Area Air Quality Management District from a fund set aside for advanced technology demonstration programs.

This grant will facilitate the replacement of gasoline-powered and diesel-powered airport shuttles for parking lot, hotel and airline crew with Hythane versions of the shuttles which are expected to dramatically decrease emissions.

According to Eden, the Hythane-fuelled shuttles are expected to reduce nitrous oxides by 56%, non-methane hydrocarbons by 30% and carbon dioxide by 40% over the existing versions.

The Hythane model is also expected to outperform comparable natural gas shuttles by emitting 30% less hydrocarbons and 20% less carbon dioxide.

Hythane Company’s West Coast manager John Nadeau said the funding review board liked the combination of the emissions benefits achieved through the use of Hythane fuel and the low cost of vehicle conversion compared to the purchase of new vehicles.

“The Hythane project was the most cost-effective project of all the projects applied for under this grant based on dollars per ton of emissions reduced,” he said.

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