Element 1, CO-WIN road testing medium-duty fuel cell truck with onboard methanol-based hydrogen generation
Oregon-based Element 1 Corp (e1), a developer of hydrogen generation technology, in collaboration with China-based Co-Win Hydrogen Power Company Limited (CO-WIN), announced that e1’s proprietary methanol-based M-Series hydrogen generator has been incorporated onto a medium-duty fuel cell truck produced by one of the world’s largest truck manufacturing companies.
Extended road testing of the vehicle is underway in Asia and represents a significant step towards the commercialization of e1’s onboard hydrogen generation technology. The company stated that it is becoming increasingly engaged with partners around the world on a wide range of hydrogen energy projects.
The M-Series units are methanol reformers that use water plus methanol to make hydrogen. The units uses two input streams (methanol/water mix and combustion air) and produces two output streams (product H2 and combustion exhaust).
The M-Series produces no particulate matter in the generation of hydrogen, and when using methanol produced from waste gas streams such as landfill gas or biogas, e1’s hydrogen generation solution can be carbon-neutral.
CO-WIN is both a valued strategic partner and licensee of e1, and we are excited to be working with them on this fuel cell truck project. The hydrogen generation technology being deployed is unique to e1 and is a game changer for clean transportation. To my knowledge, no other company in the world can provide a commercial onboard hydrogen generation product comparable to our M-Series product line. Our broad collaboration with CO-WIN is expected to result in the mass commercialization of fuel cell systems supporting not only transportation, but also telecom and distributed power applications throughout the Asian market.—Dave Edlund, e1 CEO
Fuel cell vehicles typically require a pure grade of hydrogen in order to produce the electricity needed for propulsion. Historically, this hydrogen has been compressed and stored on the vehicle, which necessitates a costly network of hydrogen refueling stations to be developed. In many regions of the world, building out this infrastructure is simply not feasible, e1 said.
On-demand hydrogen generation from liquid methanol onboard the vehicle mitigates the need for hydrogen fueling infrastructure. In regions where stationary hydrogen refueling stations are being installed, e1’s L-Series product line provides a very cost effective, modular solution for generating fuel cell grade hydrogen on-site.
The methanol used by e1’s hydrogen generators requires a fraction of the space onboard the vehicle compared to compressed hydrogen, enabling significantly greater driving range between fueling. This range extension is critical for heavy- and medium-duty fuel cell trucks traveling long distances each day.
In addition to fuel cell truck applications, e1 is experiencing world-wide interest from firms developing fuel-cell-powered marine vessels.