One Small Step for India, One Big Leap for Hydrogen

I didn’t know anyone was going to the moon anymore; such trips haven’t been cool since the 1970s. But the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) might be making them cool again.

According to cleantech.com, the ISRO is using cryogenic rocket technology applied during a recent lunar trip to help increase the output of hydrogen fuel cells in buses under development. Scientists are predicting 80 kW of electric power from these fuel cells, which isn’t all that impressive, (Kia’s Borrego FCEV claims 115 kW), but the deal is that they can do it in a cheaper fashion.

The government of India would like to see one million fuel cell-powered cars on their roads by 2020. Thus, their space program has wisely tapped Tata Motors to help them develop the propulsion system.

Tata Steel’s R&D arm (like Tata Motors, part of Mumbai’s massive Tata Group) has already allegedly developed a way to make hydrogen from steel by-products, known as Hydrogen Harvesting.

As a proponent of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and a believer that hydrogen has the potential to be the clean fuel savior of the future, I think India’s involvement in this emerging field of research is about as good a piece of news as I could hope for. The Tata Nano and the compressed air OneCAT have Tata poised to devour massive, previously untapped vehicle markets, giving them the money, loyalty and brand awareness needed to successfuly launch a production hydrogen fuel cell vehicle down the road.

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