Group Sees Ethanol as Feedstock for Hydrogen Fuel Cells

White paper highlights potential synergies for ethanol and fuel cells.

Published: 11-Feb-2003

The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) applauded President George Bush for highlighting ethanol as a domestic source of hydrogen to power fuel cells. Bush recently announced a $1.2 billion "hydrogen fuel initiative" to support research and commercialization of fuel cells for automobiles and stationary power generation.

In a speech last week to fuel cell technology leaders, automobile industry executives and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) staff, the President urged Congress to quickly pass an energy bill and expanded on his vision for a hydrogen-powered future first outlined in the State of the Union Address.

Later he said, "And there's a lot of advantages that I want to explain to the American people about why this initiative makes sense. First, the hydrogen can be produced from domestic sources -- initially, natural gas; eventually, biomass, ethanol, clean coal, or nuclear energy. That's important. If you can produce something yourself, it means you're less dependant upon somebody else to produce it."

The RFA recently released a white paper highlighting the potential synergies for ethanol and fuel cells. Ethanol is easily stored and dispensed in the current fueling system and generates fewer greenhouse gas-forming emissions than conventional fuels. Tests have demonstrated that ethanol is more efficient to reform than gasoline to provide hydrogen for fuel cells, according to the paper.

The RFA fuel cell white paper (PDF document) is available at: www.ethanolRFA.org/ RFA_Fuel_Cell_White_Paper.PDF.

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