The Supreme Court of India, taking cognizance of various reports on worsening air pollution levels, asked the federal government to explore the feasibility of using hydrogen-based automobile fuel, as has been done in Japan to mitigate air pollution.
"The right to life is the most important. We can't live like this, cannot survive in this atmosphere. We are losing precious years of our life," remarked the court.
Earlier the apex court had passed several directives to tackle the issue of stubble burning, one of the reasons for air pollution in Delhi and the surrounding areas of northern India.
Japan is switching over to hydrogen vehicles and the country has set the target of 2030 to complete the required infrastructure. To begin they will deploy thousands of hydrogen vehicles on the roads ahead of the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
“Hydrogen, as both a primary source and more importantly, a carrier of energy, must become cheaper and more easily affordable,” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in Davos this year.
Meanwhile, India’s oil marketing major Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) is exploring two hydrogen-based technologies as alternatives for conventional fuel. IOC has already set up a compact reformer-based H-CNG station in New Delhi to carry out field trials.
“The technology for Hydrogen as fuel was developed at the Research and Development Lab of IOC to help reduce emissions and improve the fuel economy of the buses,” a spokesperson of the IOC told Sputnik.
Hydrogen-spiked Compressed Natural Gas (H-CNG), when used in an engine in place of CNG, results in cleaner combustion, reduces emissions and improves fuel economy. H-CNG produced from natural gas through Indian Oil’s patented Compact Reformer Technology, can deliver a 70 per cent reduction of carbon monoxide and a 25 per cent reduction in hydrocarbon emissions, compared to baseline CNG. It is also 30 per cent more cost-effective compared to the physical blending of Hydrogen into CNG to derive the same benefits.
The second technology that IOC is developing is a Hydrogen fuel cell, which the state utility claims is the “ultimate green alternative for future mobility.” The research, however, is at a nascent stage, said IOC sources.