BP and Toyota move forward on hydrogen transport

BP has opened the UK’s first demonstration hydrogen refuelling station in Hornchurch, Essex. Meanwhile Toyota has announced it has developed high-pressure hydrogen fuel tanks for use in fuel-cell powered vehicles.

The BP station will supply hydrogen fuel to three London buses participating in the nine-city Clean Urban Transport for Europe (CUTE) project, and will be used by BP to study the feasibility of providing hydrogen refuelling at retail sites.

The CUTE program is the world’s largest hydrogen demonstration program, with the London buses involved previously supplied with fuel from a temporary BP site.

The station was developed by BP in partnership with DaimlerChrysler, First Group, the Energy Saving Trust and London Buses, with partial funding coming from the European Commission. BP is currently involved with 11 hydrogen fuelling projects globally, the Hornchurch site being only the third to operate from a public facility, along with stations in Singapore and Berlin.

“This is an important project for BP, for hydrogen and Britain,” said Carol Battershell, BP vice president of renewables and alternatives.

“Hydrogen holds great potential to be the clean fuel for the long-term future. This demonstration project will give us valuable, practical knowledge of how we can make hydrogen available at an easily accessible location. It is part of BP’s commitment to provide a portfolio of clean, sustainable energy solutions.”

Meanwhile, Toyota has has developed both 35MPa and 70MPa high-pressure hydrogen fuel tanks for use in fuel-cell powered vehicles.

The tanks feature a high strength nylon resin anti-leak liner as well as a composite structure covered by a carbon fibre exterior, making them tough, light and leak-resistant.

The thin liner design allows the 35MPa tank to hold 10% more hydrogen than the previous Toyota 35MPa tank, extending the range of the Toyota FCHV fuel cell hybrid passenger vehicle from 300km to 330km. The new 70MPa tank provides 170% more storage than the old 35MPa tank, giving the FCHV a cruising range of almost 500km.

Both tanks feature a new high-pressure valve design that provides increased reliability by positioning a solenoid shut-off valve inside the tank.

The High Pressure Gas Safety Institute of Japan has certified both tanks as safe for use in automobiles.


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