During the project High V.LO-City, which ended in December 2019, 14 hydrogen fuel cell buses were operated in four European cities. This paper aims at presenting total emissions through the lifetime of fuel cell buses with different hydrogen production options, including the refuelling stations. The environmental assessment of such bus system is carried out using the life cycle assessment methodology. Three hydrogen production pathways are investigated: water electrolysis, chlor-alkali electrolysis and steam methane reforming. Fuel economy during bus operation is around 10.25 KgH2/100 km, and the refuelling station energy demand ranges between 7 and 9 KWh/KgH2. To support the inventory stage, dedicated software tools were developed for collecting and processing a huge amount of bus data and refuelling station performance, for automating data entry and for impacts calculation. The results show that hydrogen-powered buses, compared to a diesel bus, have the potential to reduce emissions during the use phase, if renewables resources are used. On the other hand, impacts from the vehicle production, including battery pack and fuel cell stack, still dominate environmental load. Consequently, improving the emission profile of fuel cell bus system requires to promote clean electricity sources to supply a low-carbon hydrogen and to sharpen policy focus regarding life cycle management and to counter potential setbacks, in particular those related to problem shifting and to grid improvement. For hazardous emissions and resource use, the high energy intensity of mining and refining activities still poses challenges on how to further enhance the environmental advantages of fuel cells and battery packs.

Life cycle assessment of hydrogen-powered city buses in the High V.LO-City project: integrating vehicle operation and refuelling infrastructure

Pederzoli D. W.;Carnevali C.;Genova R.;Mazzucchelli M.;Del Borghi A.;Gallo M.;Moreschi L.
2022

Abstract

During the project High V.LO-City, which ended in December 2019, 14 hydrogen fuel cell buses were operated in four European cities. This paper aims at presenting total emissions through the lifetime of fuel cell buses with different hydrogen production options, including the refuelling stations. The environmental assessment of such bus system is carried out using the life cycle assessment methodology. Three hydrogen production pathways are investigated: water electrolysis, chlor-alkali electrolysis and steam methane reforming. Fuel economy during bus operation is around 10.25 KgH2/100 km, and the refuelling station energy demand ranges between 7 and 9 KWh/KgH2. To support the inventory stage, dedicated software tools were developed for collecting and processing a huge amount of bus data and refuelling station performance, for automating data entry and for impacts calculation. The results show that hydrogen-powered buses, compared to a diesel bus, have the potential to reduce emissions during the use phase, if renewables resources are used. On the other hand, impacts from the vehicle production, including battery pack and fuel cell stack, still dominate environmental load. Consequently, improving the emission profile of fuel cell bus system requires to promote clean electricity sources to supply a low-carbon hydrogen and to sharpen policy focus regarding life cycle management and to counter potential setbacks, in particular those related to problem shifting and to grid improvement. For hazardous emissions and resource use, the high energy intensity of mining and refining activities still poses challenges on how to further enhance the environmental advantages of fuel cells and battery packs.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/1081253
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