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China Builds Hydrogen Fueled Tram

Whilst there’s still an ongoing issue of pollution in China, the country is fighting the good fight for clean energy research and development. Rather than opting to clean up existing technology, the Chinese school of though is to instead invest and focus in finding new ways of generating power and travelling around whilst still using traditional methods for the time being.

The smog problem in large Chinese cities is a public health nightmare, as cars and factories produce massive amounts of airborne particles. this has much to do with using the old ways to get electricity flowing – burning coal is the answer currently. However we’ve seen increased Chinese investment being poured into wind power and other green technologies.

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Those technologies also include transport – which includes the very environmentally friendly tram system unveiled recently.

The train, designed for short trips around large cities, runs entirely on hydrogen cells and only produces water as a byproduct.  “The average distance of tramcar lines in China is about fifteen kilometers [nine miles], which means one refill for our tram is enough for three round trips,” said the project’s chief engineer Liang Jianying

The tram project comes from Chinese railway company Sifang, and is already complete, but the tram itself won’t be going into operation just yet. Hydrogen cell technology has taken a while to perfect – Jianying stated that “It took two years for Sifang to solve key technological problems, with the help of research institutions,” but hasn’t yet mentioned when it’ll start being used.

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The hydrogen vehicle is attractive from both an environmental and financial standpoint. Sources of the fuel are numerous and it is easy to produce. it’s also cheap to use as a propellant, and emission free. Whilst this is all good news, the pollution problem in China will still be added to by increasing numbers of road vehicles – although the tram system is a great showcase for what the technology can do.

In China’s modern industrial revolution, great amounts of money can be invested in modern tech, such as hydrogen cells. Cutting edge methods are out there, and begging for money to be poured into them, which China is only happy to provide as politicians in the country are finally acknowledging the need to curb pollution.

Via: IFL Science

Via: Bloomberg