As the world becomes increasingly more urban and countries look for robust solutions to climate change, sustainable mobility has become a necessity. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency calculated that in 2018, emissions from transportation totaled 28.2% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. The transport sector plays a crucial role in our economies and societies, allowing for the mobility of people and goods, and a responsible approach to transportation requires the rapid implementation of alternative technologies. In this context, renewable fuels such as hydrogen from renewable sources, as well as biofuels, are bound to play much bigger roles in the near and distant future.
Hydrogen is already used in fuel cell buses and cars around the world. Its great advantage is that the only byproduct from its use is water, emitted in the form of vapor. Since the vast majority of hydrogen production relies on fossil feedstock—an emission-intense process in itself—researchers have spent the past few decades looking at renewable sources for its production. Despite the high cost associated with fuel cell technology, car manufacturers are still interested. In fact, Volvo and Daimler recently announced a partnership to develop fuel cell systems for heavy-duty vehicle applications.