HYDROGEN FUEL FERRY (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     29th February 2024        

Context: Prime Minister of India will inaugurate the first indigenously developed and built hydrogen fuel cell ferry. The vessel constructed by Cochin Shipyard Ltd will be inaugurated in virtual mode from Thoothukudi. 

  • The inauguration of this project will provide impetus for use of hydrogen in marine application as envisaged under the National Green Hydrogen Mission.

Hydrogen Fuel Cell

  • About: A hydrogen fuel cell is a device that converts the chemical energy from hydrogen into electricity through an electrochemical reaction.
  • This technology involves combining hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity, heat, and water.
  • Key Component :

oElectrolyte: The fuel cell contains an electrolyte, a substance that conducts ions. Commonly used electrolytes include proton exchange membrane (PEM), phosphoric acid, molten carbonate, and solid oxide.

oAnode: Hydrogen gas is fed into the anode side of the fuel cell. At the anode, hydrogen molecules (H2) are split into protons (H+) and electrons (e-) through a process called electrolysis.

oCathode: Oxygen from the air is supplied to the cathode side of the fuel cell. The oxygen molecules combine with electrons and protons that have traveled through an external circuit from the anode, creating water (H2O) as a byproduct.

oElectrochemical Reaction: The chemical reactions occurring at the anode and cathode generate an electric current. This electricity can be utilized to power electric vehicles, and electronic devices, or provide electricity for various applications.

  • Benefits: Low-to-zero emissions, High Efficiency, Reliability, Fuel Flexibility, Energy Security, Durability, Scalability and Quiet Operation.
  • Applications: Hydrogen fuel cells find applications in various sectors, including transportation (fuel cell vehicles), stationary power generation, and portable electronic devices.

National Green Hydrogen Mission (NGHM)

  • Approved in: January 4, 2023.
  • Nodal Ministry: Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.
  • Objective: To make India the Global Hub for production, usage and export of Green Hydrogen and its derivatives.

oTo make India a leader in technology and manufacturing of electrolysers and other enabling technologies for Green Hydrogen.

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