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Cal Energy Commission awards Shell $4M to develop and demonstrate multi-modal hydrogen refueling station; road and rail

The California Energy Commission has approved a 4-million grant to Equilon Enterprises LLC (dba Shell Oil Products US) to develop and demonstrate the first multi-modal hydrogen refueling station in California. The multi-modal hydrogen refueling station will serve hydrogen-fuel-cell-powered on-road heavy-duty vehicles and locomotives at the Port of West Sacramento and will support the Sierra Northern Hydrogen Locomotive Project resulting from the same solicitation and previously awarded.

High-throughput clusters, such as marine ports, concentrate harmful criteria pollutants such as diesel particulate matter and oxides of nitrogen. Locomotives and marine vessels emit approximately 90% of diesel particulate matter and 24% of statewide NOx. With a multi-modal hydrogen refueling station at a high-throughput cluster—such as a marine port—high utilization of hydrogen fuel could be achieved by supplying diverse and complementary applications, including on-road vehicles, locomotives, marine vessels, and cargo handling equipment.

However, these applications need the hydrogen refueling station to be in place in order to come to market, and they also need an affordable cost of hydrogen to be competitive with diesel for long-term operation and increased adoption.

Thus, the project is intended to demonstrate the safe operation of a large-scale hydrogen fueling station in support of the deployment of heavy-duty on-road and off-road zero-emission vehicles.

The goals of this project are to:

  • Build, own, and operate a Multi-modal Hydrogen Refueling station that provides hydrogen fuel at 350-bar pressure to on-road vehicles (up to Class 8 trucks) on the public open retail side of the station and at 250-bar pressure to a fuel cell-powered locomotive on the private rail tracks side of the station.

  • Achieve low-cost hydrogen fuel by implementing important innovations in standardized next-generation hydrogen refueling station equipment. This includes implementing a high-flow variant of a dual-hose dispenser, and utilizing hydrogen fuel supply via a “trailer-swap” mode of operation.

  • Enhance fueling performance through the inclusion of a thermal management subsystem in the station design.

  • Enable long-term operation of the hydrogen fueling infrastructure with options to expand to meet growing demand across a wide range of applications including on-road vehicles, rail, marine, and cargo handling equipment.

  • Demonstrate and deliver significant emission reductions from mobile sources, through the displacement of diesel fuel from particularly highemitting locomotives and drayage trucks in locations of concentrated emissions.

  • Demonstrate and enable growth in economic activity in West Sacramento through increased adoption of fuel cell-powered applications and the expansion of the proposed station.

The Port of West Sacramento is a deep-water port which opened for commerce in 1963. The Port is located 79 nautical miles from San Francisco with direct access to Suisun Bay provided via the 40-mile Deep Water Ship Channel, which is maintained at a depth of 30 feet by the United States Army Corps of Engineers.



OK, but where is the hydrogen coming from? I am sure that I can make a good guess -- steam reforming and probably without CO2 sequestration. Otherwise, Shell would not be involved.


A diesel burning hydrogen creates more NOx than using CNG


And just about zero NoX from the fuel cell trucks and trains, aside from work arounds for hydrogen burning diesels to reduce them.


Oxidize hydrogen in fuel cells do not combust it in engines

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