MoU signed by UN agency with Indian partners

Sandeep Joshi

NEW DELHI: United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO)

Will hydrogen ever transform the way we heat our homes and fuel our cars?

Gas Hydrates Are 160 Times More Efficient Than Petrol

First came the promise of pollution-free energy. Then came the daunting list of economic and technical challenges. It seemed as if plans for the hydrogen economy might never make it off the drawing board. But with a number of research programmes showing promising results, hydrogen

Global carmakers and others who fight a feverish technology battle to push hydrogen as affordable and clean fuel in their vehicles may soon have an Indian research team to thank. Scientists led by K. Vijayamohanan Pillai at the National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) in Pune have tweaked a material that is at the heart of a hydrogen-based fuel cell in such a way that the electrochemical device is capable of delivering more power for the same set-up.

The Standing Committee on Emission Regulation

The good news in the International Energy Agency's report on the future of energy technologies is that there is enough oil left on the planet to allow a huge increase in consumption over the next few decades. The bad news is that the consequences for the climate of burning that much oil would be alarming. The IEA, the rich countries' energy watchdog, is urging the world to start weaning itself off oil, not because supplies are running out but to avoid "significant change in all aspects of life and irreversible change in the natural environment" as a result of global warming.

The cost of carbon dioxide emissions would need to be at least $200 per tonne - many times today's levels - to deliver the cuts scientists propose will be needed to avert the threat of global warming, the International Energy Agency said yesterday. The rich countries' energy watchdog warned that the cost of emissions, set by trading schemes or carbon taxes, would need to be that high to make investment in technologies such as hydrogen-fuelled vehicles commercially viable.

Government will also establish a National Hydrogen Energy and Fuel Cell Centre in Gurgaon The first hydrogen dispensing station will be established in New Delhi this year as part of the Central government's efforts to develop alternative energy sources, including hydrogen and fuel cells, V.Subramanian, Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, said here on Friday. Inaugurating a national workshop on Fuel Cell Technology at SRM University in Kattankulathur, Mr. Subramanian, whose speech was read out in absentia by B.M.S. Bist, Adviser to the Ministry, said the dispensing station would be set up by the Indian Oil Corporation. The proposed facility would dispense hydrogen compressed natural gas (H CNG) as part of the Ministry's project. The Ministry had supported a project by Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers for introducing a blend of H CNG as fuel (after necessary modifications) in vehicles currently running on CNG. Mr. Subramanian said the government would also establish a National Hydrogen Energy and Fuel Cell Centre in Gurgaon, Haryana. The Centre's National Hydrogen Energy Road Map had proposed setting up power stations with a capacity to produce 1,000 MW of electricity using Hydrogen as fuel by 2020 and also the introduction of one million vehicles with Hydrogen as fuel. "The Ministry would work with academic and research institutions, private sector, engineering manufacturers and industry for this purpose,' Mr. Subramanian said. T.R. Pachamuthu, chancellor of the private university, said they would be introducing an elective course on Fuel Cell Technology from the next academic year (2008-09) for mechanical and chemical engineering students. And to promote research in fuel cell technology, an energy lab would be set up with an investment of $70,000 from Queen's University, Kingston, Canada, that had supported the workshop.

Porous solids have become a rich playground for chemists, who can tailor the materials' makeup for use in gas storage, filtering and catalysis.