An overview of development and challenges in hydrogen powered vehicles

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Mechanical Engineering


Hydrogen has the potential to be the sustainable fuel of the future, decrease the global dependence on fossil fuel resources, and lower the pollutant emissions from the transportation industry. In this study, recent development in hydrogen-based transportation engines is reviewed to scrutinize the feasibility of using hydrogen as a major fuel of future. Using hydrogen in internal combustion engines achieves only 20-25% efficiency and low power output compared to fossil-fueled internal combustion engines. Although hydrogen-based internal combustion engines have recently received considerable interests, several practical barriers have prevented the fast development of this technology. Hence, at the current stage, using hydrogen as an additive to hydrocarbon fuel systems have been taken into consideration to produce higher performance than hydrogen-only internal combustion engines. Using the dual-fuel strategy can increase the combustion stability and thermal efficiency while decreasing the CO and unburned hydrocarbons emissions, and fuel consumption. Alternatively, hydrogen can be used in fuel cells for vehicular applications with several automotive manufacturers producing fuel cell vehicles currently. Fuel cells can achieve efficiencies of up to 60%, while the rest is lost as heat. Strategies that have been investigated to increase the efficiency, performance, and lifespan of fuel cells are capillary pumping systems, a chemisorption chiller, nanofluids and supercapacitors. All such strategies improved the fuel cells in one or more ways. Safety, hydrogen delivery, onboard storage, and the capital and operating costs of hydrogen powered vehicles are analyzed to approach to clean transportation utopia. © 2019, © 2019 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.



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International Journal of Green Energy


This is an open access article.

Original Citation:

Hosseini, S. E. & Butler, B. (2019). An overview of development and challenges in hydrogen powered vehicles. International Journal of Green Energy 17(1): 13-37. doi: 10.1080/15435075.2019.1685999.