Kerala should go for hydrogen-CNG, says expert
While Kochi is witnessing an increased interest in vehicles that run on CNG, places like New Delhi – which have already been operating bus fleets using CNG are now pitching for an even cleaner alternative, hydrogen-CNG (H-CNG). H-CNG is a cleaner version of CNG and a mixture of hydrogen and CNG (82% CNG and 18% hydrogen). When compared to fossil fuels, CNG is less-polluting and H-CNG is cleaner than CNG. Centre for Science and Environment executive director (research and advocacy) Anumita Roychowdhury said it will not be possible to introduce and popularize e-vehicles at one go. “The evolution to e-vehicles should be gradual. If state government can get access to H-CNG, it should be promoted. For attaining zero emission, we must climb up a ladder from the dirtiest fuel to cleanest one,” she said. In Kochi, even CNG is not popular and the number of filling stations is limited to four. She said that from an environment point of view, the government should promote both CNG and e-vehicles simultaneously. Roychowdhury said that no mechanical upgrades have to be made in vehicles for converting to H-CNG. Test results have revealed that using H-CNG in BS-IV vehicles helped cut down carbon emissions by nearly 70%. Speaking about New Delhi, Roychowdhury said that they started the switch to CNG in 2002. Air pollution is most severe in Delhi and hence there is a requirement to shift to a cleaner fuel, H-CNG. In the context of operating HCNG buses in New Delhi, environment pollution (prevention and control) authority member Sunita Narain had said that H-CNG would be an intermediary step before Delhi could finally move to fuel-cell buses. In fuel cell buses, hydrogen is used to produce electricity, and it is expected to result in zero emissions. Meanwhile, officials with Indian Oil Adani Gas Private Ltd, which is setting up CNG filling stations in Kochi, said the firm is yet to get updates about H-CNG. “We are only focusing on CNG now,” they said.