Due to its possibilities in the field of environmental protection, hydrogen is often called the fuel of the future and we hear more and more about projects with its use – Toyota launched zero-emission hydrogen production and the first charging station in Australia, the Swedes are getting ready to open the world’s largest hydrogen steel factory, the Scots are testing hydrogen in domestic applications, and Microsoft has tested hydrogen fuel cell powering its data centers. Now we are dealing with another, because a French company is developing the world’s first hydrogen-powered transport vessel, which is to set sail later this year.
Compagnie Fluvial de Transport (CFT), as the company is called, has just announced that the ship will be launched on the Seine and will use compressed hydrogen produced in the electrolysis process to supply power. Interestingly, the ship will not hit the ocean waters, because it is designed only for inland traffic, as a response to the ever-growing demand for greener transport systems of this type: transport and demonstrate the phenomenal capabilities of hydrogen fuel cells in water applications, explains CFT director Matthieu Blanc.
It cannot be denied that huge transport ships have revolutionized world trade in the last 50 years, but at the same time have become one of the biggest polluters of harmful greenhouse gases. Mainly because most of them are still based on heavy fuel oil, mazout, which is one of the most polluted fuels and emits more carbon dioxide and fine carbon particles when burned than refined fuels. There is a reason why such cargo ships are the second biggest source of climate change, right?
To combat this, the European Union has created the Horizon 2020 program, under which various initiatives could count on subsidies – one of them is the aforementioned Flagships, which received support in the amount of USD 6 million. One of his concept ships is already sailing in Paris, and two more are under construction, so it looks like the technology has great potential in inland navigation.