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Sustainability study of hydrogen pathways for fuel cell vehicle applications


  • Hwang, Jenn-Jiang


The present work has conducted a comprehensive life-cycle analysis of energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission for various fuel/vehicles systems. Focus is placed on the hydrogen-based fuel cell vehicle (FCV) technology, while the gasoline vehicle (GV) equipped with an internal combustion engine (ICE) serves as a reference technology. A fuel-cycle model developed at Argonne National Laboratory, the GREET model, is employed to evaluate the well-to-wheels (WTW) energy and emissions impacts caused by various fuel/vehicle systems. Six potential hydrogen pathways using renewable and non-renewable energy sources are simulated, namely, steam reforming of natural gas and corn ethanol, water electrolysis using grid generation and solar electricity, and coal gasification with and without carbon sequestration. Results showed that the FCVs fuelled with solar electrolysis hydrogen have the greatest benefits in energy conservation and GHG emission reduction. However, by incorporating with the economic consideration, hydrogen from the natural gas reforming is likely to be the primary mode of production for the initial introduction of FCVs.

Suggested Citation

  • Hwang, Jenn-Jiang, 2013. "Sustainability study of hydrogen pathways for fuel cell vehicle applications," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 19(C), pages 220-229.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:rensus:v:19:y:2013:i:c:p:220-229
    DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2012.11.033

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Shapouri, Hosein & Duffield, James A. & Wang, Michael Q., 2002. "The Energy Balance of Corn Ethanol: An Update," Agricultural Economics Reports 34075, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    2. Boettner, Daisie D. & Moran, Michael J., 2004. "Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell-powered vehicle performance using direct-hydrogen fueling and on-board methanol reforming," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 29(12), pages 2317-2330.
    3. Hwang, Jenn Jiang, 2012. "Review on development and demonstration of hydrogen fuel cell scooters," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 3803-3815.
    4. Hwang, Jenn Jiang, 2010. "Promotional policy for renewable energy development in Taiwan," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 1079-1087, April.
    5. Hwang, Jenn Jiang, 2010. "Sustainable transport strategy for promoting zero-emission electric scooters in Taiwan," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 14(5), pages 1390-1399, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Zhang, Wei & Yang, Jun & Sheng, Pengfei & Li, Xuesong & Wang, Xingwu, 2014. "Potential cooperation in renewable energy between China and the United States of America," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 403-409.
    2. Chang, Wei-Ru & Hwang, Jenn-Jiang & Wu, Wei, 2017. "Environmental impact and sustainability study on biofuels for transportation applications," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 277-288.
    3. Najjar, Yousef S.H., 2013. "Protection of the environment by using innovative greening technologies in land transport," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 480-491.
    4. Faria, Ricardo & Marques, Pedro & Moura, Pedro & Freire, Fausto & Delgado, Joaquim & de Almeida, Aníbal T., 2013. "Impact of the electricity mix and use profile in the life-cycle assessment of electric vehicles," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 271-287.
    5. repec:eee:appene:v:205:y:2017:i:c:p:57-68 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Stacy, John & Regmi, Yagya N. & Leonard, Brian & Fan, Maohong, 2017. "The recent progress and future of oxygen reduction reaction catalysis: A review," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 401-414.
    7. Bauer, Christian & Hofer, Johannes & Althaus, Hans-Jörg & Del Duce, Andrea & Simons, Andrew, 2015. "The environmental performance of current and future passenger vehicles: Life cycle assessment based on a novel scenario analysis framework," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 871-883.
    8. repec:eee:appene:v:215:y:2018:i:c:p:1-12 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:gam:jeners:v:11:y:2018:i:5:p:1184-:d:145154 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Guerrero Moreno, Nayibe & Cisneros Molina, Myriam & Gervasio, Dominic & Pérez Robles, Juan Francisco, 2015. "Approaches to polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) and their cost," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 897-906.
    11. Ehteshami, Seyyed Mohsen Mousavi & Chan, S.H., 2014. "The role of hydrogen and fuel cells to store renewable energy in the future energy network – potentials and challenges," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 103-109.
    12. Lajunen, Antti & Lipman, Timothy, 2016. "Lifecycle cost assessment and carbon dioxide emissions of diesel, natural gas, hybrid electric, fuel cell hybrid and electric transit buses," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 329-342.
    13. Lucia, Umberto, 2014. "Overview on fuel cells," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 164-169.
    14. repec:eee:appene:v:215:y:2018:i:c:p:556-565 is not listed on IDEAS


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