Beijing Invests in Hydrogen, Natural Gas Bus Fleet

Perth-based Tasman Resources plans to establish a hydrogen bus fleet in Beijing with the help of Brehon Energy. The bus conversion project aims to replace 10,000 diesel buses with low emission Hythane powered buses for the Olympic Games in 2008.

Hythane is a mixture of hydrogen in natural gas that was patented in the United States, and it involves the addition of a small percentage of hydrogen, usually about 7 percent, to natural gas to create a highly efficient very low emission vehicle fuel. The fuel mix reduces NOx emissions by 95 percent, and significantly reduces CO2 emissions relative to a diesel-fueled engine. Four organizations in China; the Association for Hydrogen Energy (CAHE), the Electronic Engineering Design Institute (CEEDI), Tsinghua University and the Shougang Technology Research Institute (STRI), are also supporting the conversion project. Tasman is acquiring a 20 percent interest in Brehon and a 49 percent interest in Brehan Far East, which will organize the project. The first stages of the project will begin in early 2005, and is a pilot project to develop 25 Hythane buses to test a variety of engines and develop the necessary infrastructure for the project. If the first stage is successful, the remainder of the project will stretch out over the next three years to meet the goal of hythane buses for the 2008 Olympic Games. The project has the preliminary approval of the Energy and Transportation Division of the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology and will seek certification under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) under the Kyoto Protocol. It is expected to generate substantial tradable carbon credits from the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. These carbon credits are anticipated to form a significant part of the funding package for the project, which should be secured before the project begins in 2005.
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