At a time when India has committed to zero net emissions by 2070 at the COP 26 Climate Summit, IIT (BHU) Varanasi has announced that its scientists have developed a first of its kind device in India for the on-site production of ultra-pure Hydrogen, supporting to achieving this goal.
The initiative, a significant development in the nations sustainable development goals, was led by Dr Rajesh Kumar Upadhyay, Associate Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering and Technology.
The project, having 100% indigenous components, is supported by the Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of Science and Technology, India.
According to the research institute, the system is easily installable in petrol pumps. Some of the critical needs the device delivers include generating hydrogen for hydrogen vehicles, making the charging of EVs easy, and supplying power to mobile towers, among others.
The compact and ergonomically designed device caters towards sustainability and portrays socio and economic benefits. It is based on membrane technology for the on-site production of ultra-pure hydrogen from methanol. It generates hydrogen, which is fed to the fuel cell to generate power (electricity).
The device is easy to use and covers a minimum space of two square metre. Moreover, it requires only 0.6 lit/hr of methanol to produce around 900 lit/hr of hydrogen, the institution said.
The Government of India recently launched the National Hydrogen Mission and National Electric Mobility Mission Plan to reduce the carbon footprint and dependency on fossil fuels. However, it pertains to two major concerns: charging EVs through clean and green energy and, secondly, commercialising hydrogen energy’s storage and transportation. Understanding the nuisance, the experts from IIT (BHU) Varanasi stepped up their support and effort to solve both of these issues through this device.
The team recently demonstrated this device and produced 1kW power by integrating it with a PEM fuel cell. It is also developing a self-sustaining device that will not require any external energy for its operation.
Leading the research, Dr Upadhyay said that the new device will foster an economic benefit by reducing the infrastructure and power industry load. 'We are also looking at replacing diesel generators and reducing diesel consumption significantly through this,” he added.
The team is also working to make a similar kind of device that will be operated using natural gas. It will produce hydrogen at a much lower cost and will be even more compact.