Nissan has thrown their collective research weight not just behind electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles but fuel cell electric vehicles. They claim that their goal is zero emissions and zero injuries from their solution for modern transportation.
To accomplish this they are focusing on solar oxide fuel cell technology which uses liquid bio-ethanol for fuel. To develop and test this technology they are working with companies in Brazil who is a global leader in the area of bio-ethanol fuel. Nissan aims to commercialize this technology by 2020.
The Future For Solid Oxide Fuel Cells.
Solar oxide fuel cells, powered in this way do produce hydrogen as a byproduct which is a greenhouse gas.
Hydrogen (H2) is similar to carbon monoxide in that it acts as an indirect greenhouse gas through its effect on hydroxyl (OH) radicals. By reducing the levels of OH in the atmosphere, hydrogen increases the lifetime of some direct greenhouse gases, such as methane.
To offset this Nissan falls back to the carbon cycle argument, that the planting of feedstock plants absorbs the same amount or carbon that is equivelent to the hydrogen released. Not everyone believes in the carbon cycle theory.
The bio-ethanol is typically made from corn or sugar cane as is the case in Brasil.
Take a look and see what you think of what Nissan is building. Is solid oxide fuel cell tech the right way to go?
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About Gordon Smith Gordon's expertise in the area of industrial energy efficiency and alternative energy. He is an experienced electrical engineer with a Masters degree in Alternative Energy technology. He is the co-founder of several renewable energy media sites including Solar Thermal Magazine.