The first train moved by hydrogen is ready and enters in operation in Germany.
The new trains transport passengers along 100 kilometers (62 miles) of track and can travel up to 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) on a single tank of hydrogen, reaching top speeds of 140 km/h (87 mph).
Chemistry recap: Hydrogen fuel cells generate electricity by combining hydrogen with oxygen, and their only byproduct is water. That makes the cells a promising energy source that produces zero emissions and very little noise.
Though they remain pricey, hydrogen fuel cells have advantages over batteries. Instead of recharging, for instance, you can just refuel them like you would a gas or diesel engine. And because train schedules are highly predictable, it’s easier to build refueling infrastructure.
In the post about the unboxing of a hydrogen and solar energy kit, it is explained with more details how a hydrogen cell works. Click in the button below to see. Also shows how this cell can be recharged with solar energy.
New research is helping cut the cost of hydrogen, and the fuel source is already in use elsewhere in the world to power buses and cars. Trains are much heavier, though, so powering them with hydrogen instead of diesel could do much more to cut carbon emissions.
If all goes well with these first trains, Alstom hopes to add another 12 to its Lower Saxony fleet.
The great disadvantage of this technology is the cost. If it’s possible to make a train moved by hydrogen, then can apply this technology to trucks. These use diesel, which is one of the more pollutant fuels.