November 27, 2022

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Indian Oil Corp exploring hydrogen to use as eco-friendly fuels 

Indian Oil Corp

Indian Oil Corp exploring hydrogen to use as eco-friendly fuels 

Indian Oil Corporation’s research and development (R&D) centre is exploring how the hydrogen can be used as fuel since early 2000s in their recent test the hydrogen has been mixed with the compressed natural gas (CNG) to make H-CNG. Let us see further how Indian Oil Corp is making efforts to use eco-friendly fuels in vehicles. 

The officials at the R&D facility of Indian Oil said it is the way to adopt hydrogen as a fuel. They are also into the process to close the tender for the production of the clean hydrogen and to trail the fuel. The trials is expected to be complete by 2022. 

“The first step for adoption of hydrogen will be through H-CNG. Indian Oil R&D has found that by mixing hydrogen with CNG, up to around 18 per cent by volume, it will not have any adverse effect on the vehicle. Further, efficiency of the vehicle will improve and emissions will come down. We have set up a 4 tonne per day plant for this at Rajghat in Delhi and are servicing 50 H-CNG compatible buses from it,” the Indian Oil official added.

This process includes the use of a pure and clean hydrogen which is made from the natural gas or naphtha and using steam-methane reforming.

Indian Oil Corp

“Any vehicle that runs purely on hydrogen will be equivalent to an electric vehicle. This is because when hydrogen goes to a fuel cell, the cell produces electricity, which runs the vehicle. So, a fuel cell is the future of battery and hydrogen is a future fuel,” the official said.

At current the hydrogen generation facilities are available in Japan, Germany, and a few European countries. The solar electrolysers are used to break down water into basic constituents of hydrogen and oxygen in India also such projects to be expected.

It has proposed the hydrogen will be produced using four different techniques which is expected to be implemented next year and by mid-2022, it will be ready to demonstrate systems in R&D centre in Faridabad, Haryana.

IOC EV battery manufacturing & ethanol plants

Recently, the Indian Oil Corporation announced its plans to set up two ethanol plants in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh at an investment of about ₹600 crores each. The company has received approvals from Telangana which suggested two locations for the ethanol plant. IOC is also planning a GW scale EV battery manufacturing plant, that will also be finalized soon.

It is to soon finalise plans for a GW scale EV battery manufacturing plant with the collaboration of an Israeli company. The battery made with aluminium will have the capability to run about 400 km. The IOC is also talking with OEMs regarding its battery plants.

Biomass gasification-based hydrogen generation technology

It has also partnered with India’s leading research institute, Indian Institute of Science (IISc) to develop biomass gasification-based hydrogen generation technology to produce affordably priced fuel cell-grade hydrogen.IISC & IOC R&D have signed an MoU to work together.

As per the agreement, both IISC and Indian Oil will work together and make use of both biomass gasification and hydrogen purification processes. The developed technology will be demonstrated at Indian Oil’s R&D Centre at Faridabad. The hydrogen generated from this process will be used to power the fuel cell buses as part of the bigger projects by Indian Oil.

The IOC as a pioneer to hydrogen research in India has recently launched the trials of the 50 buses in Delhi which are powered by hydrogen-CNG.

It has also acquired a stake in Phinergy, an Israel based startup which develops ultra-lightweight metal-air batteries for electric vehicles. It is in talks with few governments to set up an aluminium-air batteries factory.

Aluminium ultra-lightweight metal-air batteries 

It has also acquired a stake in Phinergy, an Israel based startup which develops ultra-lightweight metal-air batteries for electric vehicles. It is in talks with few governments to set up an aluminium-air batteries factory. The factory is likely to be set up in Chennai and the investment details are still being worked out.

R Sravan S Rao, executive director & state head, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh said that “We are looking to set up a factory in India to manufacture aluminium-air batteries for electric vehicle and stationary applications and facilitate the development of eco-system for aluminium-air technology-based batteries. Since aluminium is naturally available in India and its extraction and recycling technologies are also very well established, this technology may be a suitable alternative for the present lithium-based batteries.”

Lignocellulosic 2G ethanol to promote use of environment-friendly fuel

The Indian oil is also setting up a plant in Panipat district of Haryana for 100 KLPD (kilolitres per day) lignocellulosic 2G ethanol using the indigenous technology patented by the Indian Oil’s & R&D centre. This project costs Rs 766 crore which will promote the use of environment-friendly fuel. The company is also producing the 3G ethanol by converting the hydrogen off-gas produced at its refineries to ethanol, by gas fermentation technology.

When compared with the lithium-ion batteries, metal-air batteries provides more range up to 600 km for electric vehicles.

Hopefully, IOC will set up the metal-air batteries soon, once it establishes the factory and the batteries start commercializing the EV industry will develop in no time.

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