The success of fuel cell powered transportation systems will rely heavily upon the ready availability of low cost hydrogen. Although hydrogen production, storage, and distribution is a well-developed, widely practiced commercial technology, the infrastructure to serve the transportation fuel market does not exist. Thus, in addition to developing the technology for fuel cell transportation, consideration needs to be given to the issue of how growing fleets of these vehicles can be supplied with hydrogen. As part of a U.S. Department of Energy Program to develop proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell propulsion systems for transportation applications. Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. has examined how current hydrogen production and supply technologies may be adapted to supply individual fueling stations with hydrogen fuel, and has evaluated the economics of the most practical options. This paper will provide an overview of the results of the study and suggestions for how the hydrogen fuel infrastructure could be realized.
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