The construction of the experimental ethanol-based renewable hydrogen refuelling station has begun at the University of Sao Paulo (USP) campus in Brazil. How will this help to decarbonise the campus and beyond?
It is expected that the project will produce 4.5kg of hydrogen per hour to fuel three buses and one light vehicle. The start of operation is anticipated for the second half of 2024.
This project is aiming to demonstrate that ethanol can be a vector to produce renewable hydrogen, leveraging the industry’s existing logistics.
Equipment installed at the site will include a Hytron ethanol steam reformer which is designed to convert ethanol into hydrogen through steam reforming, in which ethanol is subjected to specific temperatures and pressures to react with water inside the reactor.
During the operation of the experimental station, researchers will validate calculations on the emissions and costs of the hydrogen production process.
Hydrogen produced at the station will fuel buses provided by the Metropolitan Urban Transport Company of Sao Paulo, to circulate exclusively within the university campus.
Not only will this project help to decarbonise the campus but is the first step in exploring the use of the technology in Brazil. It could show that by using renewable hydrogen from ethanol, sustainable transport may become a reality.