The issue of greenhouse gas emissions permeates across all technologies powered by fossil fuels. Much effort has been undertaken to develop hydrogen fuel cells, which offer high energy density and have zero carbon emissions. Currently, there exist several fuel-cell cars, such as the Honda Clarity and Toyota Mirai, but what about marine vehicles?
Golden Gate Zero Emission Marine is a start-up which has just received a $3 million grant to build the first fuel-cell-powered ferry in the world. The company is based in San Francisco and their vehicle, named “Water-Go-Round”, aims to address environmental issues in the maritime industry, which accounts for 2.8% of the global greenhouse emissions. The current design is a 21m long aluminium catamaran, and it stores enough hydrogen to run for up to two days without refuel. The fuel cell requires hydrogen and oxygen gas, which have low densities, and it only emits water as a by-product. It is, therefore, both environmentally friendly and more energy dense and could power a boat a lot more efficiently.
The company aims to have the boat ready by the end of 2019, and they plan to study the effectiveness of fuel-cell performance. This development may be another step in making the world more environmentally friendly.
Make sure to attend our Third Great Debate on whether or not Hydrogen Cars are the future of transport, not electric cars.
Image: Golden Gate Zero Emission Marine
This story is taken from the 29 June 2018 edition of The Warren Centre’s Prototype newsletter. Sign up for the Prototype here.