Cars could soon run on Hydrogen CNG as per govt plans: Benefits explained

MoRTH has issued a notification stating is it open to suggestions and comments from the public and all shareholders on Hydrogen-enriched Compressed Natural Gas (HCNG) to be used as automotive fuel in India. This comes after the Ministry has also opened itself to suggestions standards for safety evaluation of hydrogen propelled vehicles in India.

By:Published: July 24, 2020 11:25 AM
Image: The Indian Express

The Indian Government is working hard towards finding alternative fuels that will help reduce vehicular tailpipe emissions while also being more convenient than the long charging times required for battery electric vehicles. After opening up to suggestions for standards for safety evaluation of hydrogen propelled vehicles, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways of India has issued a release stating that it is now also welcoming suggestions and comments from shareholder and the public on the possibility of Hydrogen-enriched Compressed Natural Gas also known as HCNG. MoRTH is open to an amendment to the Central Motor Vehicle Rules 1979 to accommodate the new alternate fuel if it can be made as a viable automotive fuel in India.

While the Indian Government has been looking towards new alternative fuels for automotive use, HCNG as a fuel can be rolled out and made more easily viable has India already has employed the infrastructure for CNG refuelling stations and is already in use in abundance. HCNG is essentially Compress Natural Gas which has been blended in with Hydrogen. Within the composition of HCNG, it consists of 18% of Hydrogen. This blend is also viable in the use of heavy vehicles which are powered by CNG. To accommodate the fuel to be used for a vehicle, minor changes and optimisations are only required for an engine already fit to run on CNG.

Researchers claim HCNG has the ability to reduce carbon monoxide (CO), methane, and hydrocarbon (THC) emissions compared to regular CNG being used whether as automotive fuel or in other applications. As minor tweaks will be needed to accommodate the fuel in CNG pipelines, the Indian government will run a pilot project soon as well while modifying a small amount of the existing infrastructure initially to understand its viability before rolling it out.

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