Special Section: Energy - Tomorrow’s Technology is a Reality Today | AIChE

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Special Section: Energy - Tomorrow’s Technology is a Reality Today

July
2016

Clean and efficient transportation and power are a reality today because of public-private investment in fuel cell technology over the past few decades.

I became a proponent of fuel cells when my lab, Savannah River National Laboratory, participated in a road test of the 2009 Toyota Highlander fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV). As an owner of a gasoline-powered Toyota Highlander, I was particularly interested in this test. The new fuel cell powertrain’s performance was equivalent to my Highlander’s, but with a fuel economy of greater than 68 miles per gallon of gasoline equivalent. This full-scale pilot test proved that FCEVs could compete with more traditional gasoline-powered vehicles on performance.

FCEVs are attractive because they offer competitive performance while also cutting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In their article (pp. 50–54), Krishna...

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