The Department of chemical engineering and technology has created a membrane reformer prototype for developing ultra-pure hydrogen fuel from methanol at the Banaras Hindu University (BHU).
Rajesh Kumar Upadhyay of the department and his team said that in India, it is the first such precursor and there are no such commercial departments worldwide.
He mentioned that the prototype separated 99.999 % pure hydrogen from a mere 15 ml/minute methanol to 13 L/min and achieved in creating 1 KW of power on integration with a hydrogen fuel cell.
The Centre has also inaugurated the National Hydrogen Energy Mission to facilitate the output of hydrogen from green energy resources.
Hydrogen is known to be the top clean fuel with the versatility to replace fossil fuels and its high energy density.
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Rakesh said this prototype would considerably decrease fossil fuel use and carbon footprint. Because of the compact unit, it can be utilized for the on-site generation of ultra-pure hydrogen. It also decreases transportation and storage safety hazards related to hydrogen and can also be utilized to power mobile towers besides rehabilitating diesel-based generators. The prototype can also be consumed to charge electric vehicles.
The union government’s department of science and technology funded this research project. The whole unit is developed in India and all elements like methanol-reforming catalysts and hydrogen-selective membranes were synthesized at the chemical engineering lab in the institute. Upadhyay said the group was working on assembling mobile electric vehicle chargers.
He further added that this prototype can be established in an electric vehicle and merged with a hydrogen fuel cell to produce electricity for charging. The electric vehicle holder can utilize an app-based module to use the charging installation. This will also decrease the lines at charging stations. Such units can also be established at fuel stations for generating hydrogen.
Pramod Kumar Jain, IIT (BHU) Director said the membrane reformer prototype encourages the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ and ‘Make in India’ endeavors of the government.