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Homebrew H2 kits available by 2010

itms-hydrogen-powered-car-can-use-hydrogen-produced-using-solar-power.jpgHaving spent the first seven years of her life there Greenbang always had a soft spot for Sheffield.  She occasionally yearns for the Monty Python ‘warm handful of gravel’ and ‘working 14 hours down mill’ but there’s now another reason to love the city.

Sheffield based ITM has just announced a home hydrogen generator which will be available to buy within two years.  To test the device the company also had a Ford Focus converted to run on hydrogen. The announcement should help overcome one of hydrogen’s stumbling blocks, availability.

According to the release:

It has taken scientists and chemists at the company’s Sheffield research base, currently Europe’s largest electrolyser and fuel cell development centre, eight years to create a low-cost means of manufacturing hydrogen. Its patented electrolyser-based refuelling station uses a unique low-cost polymer which dispenses with the need for expensive platinum and can be manufactured at 1 per cent of the cost of traditional membrane materials.

The demonstration vehicle can travel 25 miles on a single recharge of hydrogen from the refuelling station, allowing it to complete most average commuter journeys without the need for the back-up petrol supply. If the hydrogen is compressed the range can be extended to 100 miles.

The Ford Focus was chosen by ITM Power because it is one of Europe’s top-selling models. In its converted form, it is effectively a bi-fuel vehicle, capable of being switched back to petrol if the hydrogen supply is exhausted.

A spokesperson for the company told Greenbang the device “would be available for roughly the same cost as a domestic boiler, so 1,800 to 2,000 pounds.”

The device can be powered by renewable energy such as a home wind turbine but the company believes most will come from the grid giving an anticipated cost of 80p per litre of hydrogen.


  • citizensmith
    Posted July 10, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    80p per litre.
    25 mile radius

    What is the amount of hydrogen produced per K/watt?
    So what is the actually carbon footprint of the car if the grid is taking up the hit?

  • Duncan
    Posted July 10, 2008 at 10:29 am

    The ability to economically produce hydrogen at the point of demand will greatly enable the progression to a hydrogen economy as it removes the infrastructure problem which is considered one of the largest hurdles to jump. Market acceptance is however I feel less of an issue than overzealous legislation.
    It is thought that the electrolyser that will ultimately achieve market dominance will need to have membrane durability with low degradation, and the ability to maintain system efficiency under variable loads experienced from renewable technologies such as wind and solar. These traits are additional to the more obvious issues such as price competitiveness and the system’s ability to cope with impurities in the local water supply. The prospects for a company with a field proven technology are significant, we shall watch ITM with interest.

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