Trial run: 50 buses using fuel greener than CNG rolled out
New Delhi: Delhi became the first city in the country to roll out hydrogen-enriched compressed natural gas (HCNG) buses for public transport on Tuesday, with the launch of a six-month trial run of 50 BS-IV compliant cluster scheme buses. Union minister of petroleum & natural gas and steel Dharmendra Pradhan and Delhi’s transport minister Kailash Gahlot inaugurated a four-tonne-a-day compact reformer plant at Rajghat Bus Depot-I of Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC). The cluster scheme buses have been slightly modified to enable a switch to HCNG. The HCNG production plant has been set up by Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) in collaboration with Delhi government’s transport department, which has provided Rs 15 crore for setting up of the plant and conducting the study. The ministry of road transport and highways has also notified HCNG as a fuel starting September, 2020. “Delhi, as the country’s capital is taking a lead in promoting environment conscious transport policies, like adopting cleaner fuels such as HCNG, electric vehicles, etc. The most important benefit of HCNG is that it emits 70% less carbon monoxide, which will reduce total hydrocarbons emissions by around 15%, along with 3-4% increased fuel efficiency,” Gahlot said. He said that during the trial, tailpipe emissions of the buses will be continuously monitored and analysed. “I am assured that once the trial is successfully completed, use of HCNG can be scaled up to other buses and private vehicles in Delhi,” Gahlot said. “I am happy to note that the scientists of Indian Oil R&D unit have risen to the occasion and developed an innovative compact reforming technology for production of hydrogen-mixed CNG. Hydrogen is the ultimate fuel, which, while giving energy, produces clean water in the emissions,” Pradhan said. He said that this pilot project will be unique and complimented Indraprastha Gas Limited for setting up a dispensing station to refuel HCNG.