OFCHC Global Spotlight         May 12, 2023
General Motors Seizes The Fuel Cell Moment With Green Hydrogen

General Motors has dropped hints about its interest in fuel cell electric vehicles over the years, but apparently that is just the tip of a much bigger iceberg. The company has made some interesting moves in recent months which suggest a more holistic approach to the green hydrogen economy of the future, regardless of what the skeptics may say.

GM’s interest in hydrogen caught the CleanTechnica eye back in 2013, after the company introduced a demonstration fleet of 16 fuel cell electric vehicles for the US Army in Hawaii. The Army demonstration was built on GM’s Project Driveway fleet of 119 vehicles, which launched in 2007 and racked up almost 3 million miles of driving in six years.

What caught our eye was a new hookup between GM and Honda. Honda was also hammering away at the challenge of introducing fuel cell vehicles to the US market.

Ford Media

Ford leads innovation consortium testing hydrogen fuel cell technology on all-electric Ford E-Transit. Ford is spearheading research into the potential for hydrogen as an on-board energy source for its acclaimed E-Transit all-electric commercial vehicle.

The UK-based project will establish if hydrogen fuel cell technology can help to deliver enhanced zero-emission-driving range for E-Transit customers with energy-intensive use cases. Part-funded by the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), Ford’s consortium of six automotive technology leader and fleet operator partners will also help to determine the supporting hydrogen refuelling infrastructure required.

BASF and Advent Technologies sign agreement to establish end-to-end supply chain for hydrogen fuel cell systems in Europe

BASF Environmental Catalyst and Metal Solutions, a global leader in precious metals and catalysis, and Advent Technologies Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADN), an innovation-driven leader in the fuel cell and hydrogen technology sectors, have concluded the terms of a new agreement to join efforts in building a full loop component supply chain for fuel cells and enter discussions to extend the partnership into the field of water electrolysis.

For 20 years, BASF Environmental Catalyst and Metal Solutions has been a leader in membrane and MEA technology for high temperature proton exchange membrane (HT-PEM) fuel cells with a strong foundation in precious metal services and catalysis. Advent is the largest manufacturer of HT-PEM fuel cell systems targeting emerging markets in the field of sustainable and decentralized energy such as stationary power that can replace diesel generators, marine power from e-methanol fuel cells and heavy-duty mobility.

LIBERTY becomes first UK producer of hydrogen pipeline material
World Pipelines

LIBERTY Pipes Hartlepool has successfully passed trials to become the first UK producer of pipelines for safe transportation and storage of hydrogen, a major step in LIBERTY’s aim to support the UK’s development of low carbon hydrogen technologies.

Physical testing specialist Element Materials Technology has confirmed that LIBERTY’s 42 in. submerged arc welded (SAW) line pipe meets international requirements for hydrogen piping and pipelines set by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) in the standard ASME B31.12 (2019). The demanding fracture mechanics testing loaded the weld, heat affected zone and pipe material to twice the required stress intensity and exposed them to a 100 barg hydrogen atmosphere for 1000 hr with no crack growth recorded.

Partnership Agreement with Nedstack Fuel Cell Technology for the development of marine fuel cell solutions
GE News press release

GE Power Conversion has signed an agreement to renew its partnership with Nedstack Fuel Cell Technology for the development of marine fuel cell solutions. The agreement follows on from a previous cooperation agreement for collaborative work. A pilot project, for a large-scale marine fuel cell application provided valuable feasibility support to a cruise provider for their technical and commercial evaluation of decarbonization solutions.

The two companies envisage using marine fuel cell technology as part of GE Power Conversion’s electric ship system, replacing traditional diesel engine power sources with fuel cells, and heavy fuel oil (HFO) with hydrogen. Together, GE and Nedstack have engineered the concept for a 2 MW hydrogen fuel cell power plant on an expedition cruise vessel, with initial results being positive.

North American Clean Hydrogen Projects Are Booming
Wall Street Journal

Efforts to boost production of hydrogen, a fuel seen as crucial for meeting global climate goals, are racing ahead at a rapid pace, particularly in the U.S., threatening Europe’s lead, according to a report. Planned hydrogen electrolyzer projects globally have jumped by 18% in the last six months, surpassing one terawatt of electricity capacity for the first time, according to a semi annual report by Aurora Energy Research. 

North America has seen the largest increase in planned hydrogen projects in the past six months, according to the Oxford-based consulting firm. While Europe is still the most popular region for new hydrogen projects, its share has fallen from 63% six months ago to 56%, and the report predicts it will lose its majority share by 2025.

Singulus Optimizes Coatings for Metallic Bipolar Plates Used in Fuel Cells

Singulus Technologies successfully entered the expanding hydrogen market with the further development of suitable coating processes as well as the corresponding adaptation of its machine technology.

Thanks to the company's core competence in vacuum coating technology (PVD sputtering) efficient solutions for various applications, such as the production of bipolar plates, can be provided.

Singulus Technologies works intensively with partners on the development and optimization of coatings for metallic bipolar plates used in fuel cells and electrolyzers.

Hyundai Motor Premieres Commercialized Model of Its XCIENT Fuel Cell Tractor and Vision for Hydrogen Mobility in US
PR Newswire

Hyundai envisions an integrated hydrogen ecosystem business to achieve carbon neutrality.

At Hyundai Motor's press conference, Ken Ramirez, Executive Vice President and Head of Global Commercial Vehicle and Hydrogen Fuel Cell Business at Hyundai Motor, emphasized the importance of achieving carbon neutrality to realize the company's vision of 'Progress for Humanity.' He spoke of the company's strong commitment to hydrogen mobility and shared its ambition to foster the development of a clean hydrogen ecosystem.

"We firmly believe that hydrogen is one of the most powerful and pragmatic solutions for achieving our vision of 'Progress for Humanity' with emission-free mobility as a fundamental pillar for a sustainable society," said Ramirez. "Our hydrogen fuel cell technology has pioneered the industry, with a real-world proven track record of its efficiency and durability. We are leveraging these merits to further transform transportation with hydrogen energy for a broad range of mobility applications...

Toyota Sweetens Mirai Fuel Cell Pot With Hydrogen From Biogas

Back in 2017, Toyota came up with the idea of deploying biogas (aka RNG or renewable natural gas) from agricultural waste in California to produce hydrogen, electricity, and water at its massive Toyota Logistics Center import/export facility at the Port of Long Beach, with the aim of achieving carbon neutral status.

Toyota engaged the US company FuelCell Energy to provide the fuel cell system for the power station, named Trigeneration, or Trigen for short. More pieces fell into place last week, when the startup Anaergia Inc. deployed its subsidiary SoCal Biomethane, LLC, to hook up FuelCell Energy with renewable natural gas for the new Trigen power station, with an assist from the renewable fuel marketer Anew Climate.

UK consortium to develop hydrogen-powered bus using printed circuit board fuel cell technology
Automotive Powertrain

The Hydrogen Electric Integrated Drivetrain Initiative (HEIDI) consortium led by fuel cell technology company Bramble Energy, with Equipmake, Aeristech and the University of Bath as partners, is to develop a new hydrogen-powered double-deck bus that uses Bramble’s low-cost printed circuit board fuel cell (PCBFC) technology.

HEIDI has been granted £6.3m (US$7.9m) in funding from the Advanced Propulsion Centre as part of the Automotive Transformation Fund. This government grant is set to be matched by the industry, totaling £12.7m (US$15.9m).