Exxon Mobil Corporation is partnering with QuestAir Technologies, Plug Power Inc. and Ben Gurion University on plans to commercialize an on-vehicle hydrogen production system for use in a fuel cell-powered lift truck application.
Under the arrangements, Plug Power will seek to commercialize technologies developed by ExxonMobil, QuestAir Technologies and Ben Gurion University that take liquid fuels—gasoline, diesel, ethanol or biodiesel—and convert them into hydrogen onboard the vehicle where it will be used in a fuel cell power train.
The on-vehicle hydrogen fuel system comprises an advanced reformer developed by ExxonMobil and hydrogen separation using QuestAir Technologies’ Rapid Cycle Pressure Swing Adsorption system.
Sulfur is controlled by an ExxonMobil proprietary S-Trap developed in conjunction with Ben Gurion University. Plug Power will be responsible for integrating the fuel system with its GenDrive fuel cell power system for lift truck applications.
By developing a system that converts liquid hydrocarbons into hydrogen directly on a vehicle without the need for storage, we hope to demonstrate significant infrastructure, logistics and cost advantages compared to other hydrogen vehicle systems, all while reducing the impact on the environment.
There is a long road ahead before this technology could be deployed on a mass scale in passenger vehicles, but it has the potential to be up to 80% more fuel efficient than today's internal combustion engine technologies and reduce CO2 emissions by up to 45%. The use of this technology in a practical, commercial setting such as in a lift truck application is an important early step in demonstrating the potential benefits this technology may hold in the long-term.—Dr. Emil Jacobs, Vice President of Research and Development at ExxonMobil Research and Engineering
The announcement of the partnership follows several years of work by ExxonMobil, QuestAir Technologies and Ben Gurion University to develop the individual components that make up the on-vehicle hydrogen fuel system. The system promises high efficiency, quick startup time, and reduced CO2 emissions compared to today’s vehicles.