April 13, 2024, Saturday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

KU produced hydrogen fuel for the first time in Nepal

The Nepal Weekly
April 2, 2024
KU VC Prof Dr Bhola Thapa and Dr Biraj Singh Thapa showing the Hydrogen Fuel equipment

Nepal saw a success in production of hydrogen fuel and refuelling it on the vehicle recently. That was done by Kathmandu University Green Hydrogen Laboratory at the university in Dhulikhel.

The KU Green Hydrogen Lab which has been studying various aspects on production of hydrogen fuel in Nepal, technical knowledge and human resource for has achieved a significant milestone by successfully producing hydrogen from water and utilizing it as a fuel for vehicle. The Hydrogen fuel produced was fuelled to the South Korea made Hydrogen car brought to Nepal for research purpose. Hydrogen fuel refuelling equipment was also brought in from South Korea.

KU has been working hard with support of Nepal Oil Corporation, Alternative Energy Promotion Centre and some other institutions for last few years. Dr Biraj Singh Thapa, the head of the laboratory, said, “This marks a historic moment for Nepal. It is the first time that hydrogen production and vehicle refuelling have been accomplished in the country. Today is a landmark day for hydrogen in Nepal.”

The production of hydrogen from water necessitates electricity. Given hydrogen’s emergence as a new energy source in the global market, Nepal holds significant potential in this field.

The government, a few months ago, has formulated a policy regarding hydrogen utilization. However, there is a pressing need to enact hydrogen-specific laws and regulations to formally recognize hydrogen as a viable fuel source in Nepal.

While the introduction of hydrogen vehicles in Nepal is underway, challenges remain, such as the lack of necessary laws for issuing vehicle number plates.

Dr Thapa has emphasized that since water and electricity are domestically produced in Nepal, the country has the potential to become a leader in hydrogen technology. He shared that this date should be taken as the Hydrogen Day for Nepal. This has paved way for the country to enter into Hydrogen Age.

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, in the past, had announced riding hydrogen fuel vehicle. Now the matter has been brought into reality.

The Hydrogen Fuel has been expected to contribute in transport systems and industries for climate friendly impacts. As the tradition source of energy – fossil fuel and biomass – are recognized as the causes of CO2, need to replace by renewable energy technologies.

With huge expectation on hydrogen fuel for wider use as clean energy, many countries are engaged in through research and development. In some countries, some trains and buses have been successfully driven by Hydrogen fuel. Recently in China also launched a hydrogen fuelled train. Likewise, a bus in India also has been in operation. Moreover, Toyota and Hyundai had produced hydrogen fuel cars as well.

So far Hydrogen as a fuel is expensive in global market while producing Nepal is proved to be possible but cost of production should be slashed by Government initiatives in lowering cost of electricity is considered as a key task.

The Hyundai made Hydrogen car at KU

Moreover, taking globally, Hydrogen energy is a versatile and clean energy source that has gained significant attention as a potential solution for addressing climate change and transitioning toward a sustainable energy future. It has the potential to revolutionize various sectors, including transportation, power generation, and industrial processes. Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe but is primarily found in combination with other elements, such as oxygen in water (H2O) or carbon in hydrocarbons. To harness hydrogen as an energy source, it needs to be extracted and converted into a usable form. There are different methods for hydrogen production, including steam methane reforming, electrolysis, biomass gasification, and more. Each method has its advantages and considerations in terms of efficiency, cost, and environmental impact.

One of the main advantages of hydrogen energy is its environmental benefits; when used as a fuel, hydrogen only produces water vapour as a bi-product, making it a zero-emission energy source. This is particularly important in sectors such as transportation, where hydrogen fuel cells can be used to power electric vehicles, offering long driving ranges and fast refuelling times. Furthermore, hydrogen energy has the potential to support renewable energy integration and energy storage. Renewable energy sources such as solar and wind are intermittent, and their generation does not always align with energy demand. Hydrogen can be produced during times of excess renewable energy generation through electrolysis and stored for later use. It can be used for power generation when the renewable energy supply is low, thus providing a reliable and dispatchable energy option.