Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Steel, has opened IndianOil’s compact reformer plant and launched the much-awaited trial run of Delhi’s buses on hydrogen-blended CNG (H-CNG) at the Rajghat Bus Depot-I of Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC). Shri Kailash Gahlot, Minister of Transport, Government of Delhi, was also present on the occasion.
IndianOil’s R&D Centre had developed a patented compact reforming process for H-CNG production directly from natural gas. The technology has been successfully proved for its benefits concerning emissions, mileage and durability through extensive studies at a demonstration unit installed at its Faridabad campus. Recent studies conducted by the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), Pune, have confirmed that 18% H-CNG as fuel ensures 70% reduction in carbon monoxide and 25% reduction in hydrocarbon emissions in heavy-duty BS-IV engines as compared to baseline CNG, besides increasing fuel economy by 4 to 5%.
“I am happy to note that the scientists of IndianOil R&D have risen to the occasion and have developed an innovative compact reforming technology for production of hydrogen-mixed CNG,” said Shri Pradhan. “Hydrogen is the ultimate fuel, which, while giving energy, produces clean water in the emissions. Apart from this, it has many other virtues as the capacity to get the rural sector involved with the energy sector through biomass. This pilot project will be unique. It will help the country and the world as a whole.”
Hon’ble Supreme Court had taken cognizance of IndianOil’s patented technology and its likely benefits and had advised IndianOil and the Ministry of Petroleum of India to conduct trials using 18% H-CNG fuel on 50 buses in Delhi.
Accordingly, IndianOil, under the guidance of the Petroleum Ministry, has set up a semi-commercial plant of 4-tons per day capacity at Rajghat Bus Depot-I, along with dispensing infrastructure by Indraprastha Gas Ltd. (IGL), for conducting the study on the use of H-CNG fuel in 50 BS-IV compliant CNG buses. International Centre for Automotive Technologies (iCAT) will be the third-party accredited laboratory for performance testing of the vehicles, while the Environmental Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority for Delhi & NCR (EPCA) has been designated as the monitoring agency.
“IndianOil took early steps in promoting hydrogen initiatives. We also launched a research program on H-CNG alongside the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. IndianOil has set-up two hydrogen and H-CNG dispensing stations: one at our R&D campus in Faridabad and another at our retail station at Dwarka, Delhi,” commented Shri S M Vaidya-Chairman-IndianOil.
After the 6-month trial period, a detailed performance report will be compiled incorporating the fuel economy and emissions data of the buses powered by CNG and H-CNG fuel mixtures for submission to EPCA/Hon’ble Supreme Court.