China's hydrogen fuel cell industrialization forecast analysis forecast

2015 is the timeline for the industrialization of international hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Mercedes-Benz, General Motors, Toyota, and Hyundai Motors will launch commercial vehicles at the time, priced at US$50,000 per vehicle. In terms of domestic power generation, Japan announced in May 2009 that a 1 kW domestic fuel cell has entered the commercialization stage and has sold more than 6,000 units so far. In China, although there is only one year from 2015, there is no national plan for the use of hydrogen, let alone the market.

In fact, in the subsidy standard for new energy public service vehicles announced by the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Science and Technology in 2009, the policy of “subsidy of fuel cell cars of 250,000 yuan/vehicle and bus subsidies of 600,000 yuan/vehicle” has been proposed. But so far there is no market for price, there is no use. What are the reasons that hinder the development of the hydrogen economy in China? Is hydrogen energy a "future technology" far from us?

Mao Zongqiang, a professor at Tsinghua University, told reporters: Hydrogen energy is not far away, but the existing system is the biggest constraint. “From the perspective of the development status of developed countries such as Europe, the United States, Japan and Japan, they have already taken the initiative and we should feel pressure.” Ma Zifeng, a professor from Shanghai Jiaotong University who just returned from the United States, also told reporters: If China does not develop hydrogen energy, the expectation of the new energy vehicle “turning overtakes” will be lost. In mid-June this year, the 400th academic meeting of the Xiangshan Science Conference, which was chaired by China Academy of Geological Sciences (Wuhan) “Ten Thousand Talents Planner” Professor Cheng Hansong, Researcher of Physics and Chemistry of the Chinese Academy of Sciences Ruan Zhenhe and Mao Zongqiang, was held in the field of hydrogen energy in China. The first Xiangshan meeting. Participating experts generally believe that China has invested less in the field of hydrogen energy, lacks layout plans, and does not have a clear road map and timetable. They suggested that the government should lead the development of a national-level hydrogen energy roadmap.

Home systems rely on subsidies

At present, there are tens of thousands of fuel cell power stations in the world, but its promotion cannot be separated from government subsidies. It is reported that Japan's 1 kilowatt fuel cell is priced at 3 million yen, which is approximately more than 200,000 yuan. The government subsidizes 1.3 million yen, and after subsidy, approximately 120,000 yuan. Using this battery system, Japanese households can sell excess power to the grid every day while using the heat they distribute to obtain free hot water. U.S. family homes are relatively large, with a fuel cell size of about 5 kilowatts and a price of 50,000 U.S. dollars. Sales are currently better in California, mainly because the state can enjoy the double benefits of the federal government and the state government, removing subsidies, users need to pay about 30,000 US dollars.

However, such prices are still high in China, but Mao Zongqiang revealed that if these technologies can be made domestically, the cost will be greatly reduced. It is reported that the home fuel cell power generation system consists of a reformer, a fuel cell, and an inverter. Among them, the level of reformer in our country still does not pass, and the carbon monoxide content reaches several tens or even 100 ppm, resulting in catalyst platinum poisoning, but Japanese technology can be lower than 5 ppm, which greatly extends the battery life. In addition, the use of platinum in domestically produced fuel cells is several times that of the international advanced level, resulting in higher costs. Therefore, if a reformer is introduced to reduce the amount of precious metal catalysts used in fuel cells, and at the same time develop efficient hydrogen storage technology, combined with domestic fuel cell technology and inverters, China will be able to greatly reduce the cost of domestic fuel cell systems and make it popularized. .

In February 2009, the Chinese hydrogen delegation visited Japan to inspect and tried to introduce Japan's domestic fuel cell technology, especially the reformer component. Unsuccessful. It is understood that in response to this weakness, China is currently undergoing technological research and has made some progress. Automotive Fuel Cell Technology Passes The US Institute of Engineering predicts that hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will enter the market in volume in major industrial advanced countries in 2015. With its technological superiority, it has replaced the existing models within 15 to 20 years and has occupied the leading position in the automotive market.

Over the past decade, Honda, Toyota, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Ford and other automakers have invested billions of dollars in the development of hydrogen vehicles. Many of the results have reached the threshold of industrialization. On April 24 this year, Mercedes-Benz's fuel cell team arrived in Beijing, which is a stop for the team's global travel. In May, the team successfully returned to Germany and circled the Earth, confirming its reliability. BMW has invested more than 1 billion euros in research and development, and has produced 100 hydrogen-powered diesel locomotives that are free to test drive across the United States. Japan's fuel cell car can run 800 kilometers of hydrogen once, and it can be added in a few minutes at a time and the maximum speed can reach 180 kilometers per hour. UTC's U.S.-developed fuel cell vehicles have been in trial operation for more than 10,000 hours, exceeding the 6,000-hour commercialization standard set by the US Department of Energy. Become an important symbol of industrialization of fuel cell vehicles.

"In fact, it has developed rapidly. It will take about 10 years," Mao Zongqiang said. In 2000, the first fuel cell vehicle made in Germany was the size of an ambulance, but it could only sit on one person. Space was all used to pile fuel. battery. But now, the internal space of fuel cell vehicles is no different from gasoline vehicles. At the same time, with the advancement of technology, experts predict that if you invest in mass production, the production cost of fuel cell vehicles in 2015 will be only 20% higher than traditional cars.

However, these companies have basically stopped. According to Mao Zongqiang, technology and cost are not obstacles to the development of fuel cell vehicles. The next major difficulty is the construction of infrastructure, so all car companies are waiting. It is reported that Germany is ready to build 1,000 hydrogen refueling stations by 2015.

Clear timetable for hydrogen energy economy

International research on hydrogen energy continues to heat up, and the international hydrogen economy timetable is roughly around 2050. According to the U.S. hydrogen energy technology roadmap, by 2040 the United States will enter the era of "hydrogen energy economy." In recent years, China's hydrogen energy research has also made some progress. According to the reporter's understanding, the domestic industry has actually reached a considerable scale, and the number of related companies has reached 100, which has a good foundation. Some companies are able to realize industrialization under the premise of a fuel cell industry, and can even profit from selling products. "The major resistance to the development of hydrogen in our country comes from the existing system." Mao Zongqiang said that the existing refueling system in the industry uses solid and gaseous fuels as liquid fuels, but after a conversion, energy is greatly lost, if it can directly use hydrogen as a vehicle With fuel, efficiency will be greatly improved. "The other is that the interest pattern of existing interest groups is difficult to break," Mao Zongqiang said.

Although China currently does not consider hydrogen energy at all levels of planning, the Xiangshan Conference may be a signal. It is reported that the meeting focused on the domestic experts in this field. “We hope to use the Fragrant Hills Conference as a starting point to encourage government departments to increase their investment in hydrogen energy. All departments, including the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the National Natural Science Foundation, should increase support and strengthen policy guidance. Encourage large enterprises such as PetroChina, Sinopec and automobile companies to enter the field of hydrogen energy and accelerate the training of outstanding scientists and engineers to shorten the gap with foreign countries as soon as possible, said Cheng Hansong.

After building China's first hydrogen-powered expressway into the people's field of vision at the electric vehicle charging station, the fuel cell car refueling station is not far from us. According to the American Institute of Engineering, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will enter the market of developed countries in volume in 2015, and replace the existing fuel vehicles and hybrid vehicles within 15 to 20 years, occupying the dominant position in the global automotive market. For this reason, major global automobile companies such as BMW, General Motors, and Toyota have already made technical reserves in advance. Germany is ready to build 1,000 hydrogen refueling stations by 2015. China's SAIC Group also plans to produce 1,000 fuel cell vehicles by 2015. However, the construction of hydrogen refueling stations in China has not yet been put on the agenda.

Prof. Cheng Hansong, a special professor of the "Thousand People Project" of China University of Geosciences, told reporters that more than 400 hydrogen refueling stations have been built in the world. Most of them are located in Europe and the United States, and most of them are built directly on the hydrogen energy highway. Currently, there are only four hydrogen refueling stations in Beijing and Shanghai. There is no hydrogen energy highway. At the 400th academic meeting of Xiangshan Science Conference with the theme of “Development and Strategy of Hydrogen Energy Science and Technology” held recently, the participating experts proposed that they hope to establish the first “hydrogen” in China during the “12th Five Year Plan” period. Can highway." The so-called hydrogen energy highway is the construction of a hydrogen refueling station on the expressway so that this road can run hydrogen vehicles.

“Now China’s by-product hydrogen prices are already cheaper than gasoline. So we are confident that this expressway can be profitable,” Mao Zongqiang, executive chairman of the conference and professor at Tsinghua University, told reporters. According to reports, China's annual output of coke and other by-products of hydrogen gas 90 billion cubic meters, its calorific value is equivalent to 2008 in the country more than 6000 tons of gasoline consumption of 1/3. However, because there is no suitable use, the utilization rate is very low and most of them are wasted. However, due to the fact that there are fewer fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen diesel locomotives in China, Mao Zongqiang said: "Once this hydrogen highway is completed, the first benefit is the CNG vehicle."

It is reported that this expressway will learn from the experience of the United States. A filling station will build a large number of refueling columns. At the same time, there are natural gas, HCNG (natural gas and hydrogen mixed fuel), hydrogen and other fuels, similar to the existing gas stations with No. 97 gasoline. 93 petrol and diesel. In the future, gasoline vehicles, diesel vehicles, CNG vehicles, HCNG vehicles, and hydrogen vehicles can all appear on this hydrogen highway. Mao Zongqiang revealed that the National Hydrogen Standardization Committee has passed such a standard for filling stations to ensure that gas filling stations can also make profits at an early stage.

At present, China's CNG vehicles have strong demand for refueling stations, and long queues and natural gas are also common in some southern provinces and cities. The reporter recently learned from an interview in Hefei City, Anhui Province that the local taxis were all oil-gas vehicles but basically used natural gas. According to the driver, natural gas fuel costs half as much as gasoline.

Mao Zongqiang also calculated that during the investigation in Yangquan, Shanxi, taxi drivers used natural gas to save 100 yuan in fuel per day compared to gasoline. However, due to the small number of natural gas filling stations, refuelling even requires two hours of line-up. "A lot of drivers thought that I was investigating the above and I also called for more stations." Mao Zongqiang recalled. According to the National Twelfth Five-Year Plan, natural gas will use 200 billion cubic meters from the 100 billion cubic meters at the end of the 11th Five-Year Plan period. Mao Zongqiang believes that natural gas is a high-level fuel. In addition to living gas, it will be able to play a greater role in transportation. Moreover, there are not many CNG vehicles in China, only about 400,000 vehicles.

In fact, China is not a country rich in natural gas, but we still need to import some of it. The practice of hydrogenation in CNG has enabled the participating experts at the Xiangshan Science Conference to have a better understanding of the prospects of the hydrogen highway. According to reports, the calorific value of hydrogen is only 1/3 of natural gas, but after mixing, the fuel air-fuel ratio is increased, allowing more air. After experiments at home and abroad, a certain volume of hydrogen is incorporated into CNG, and its dynamic performance is not reduced. The biggest benefit is that it reduces nitrogen oxide emissions by 50%.

At present, the price of natural gas for vehicles in China is 3.6 yuan/party to 4.7 yuan/party, and the by-product hydrogen can be as low as 1 yuan per side. Therefore, although the distance that HCNG vehicles can run each time is slightly less than that of CNG vehicles, the gap can be compensated by lower prices. Moreover, the conversion of a CNG vehicle into an HCNG vehicle requires little hardware modification, software upgrades, and low cost. “HCNG is cheaper, cleaner, and safer than CNG,” Mao Zongqiang said. “On the one hand, the country uses the otherwise useless by-product hydrogen, and on the other hand, it saves natural gas and kills two birds with one stone.”

According to the reporter’s understanding, the proposal for the hydrogen-powered highway has received extensive support from industry players. At present, Hejin City, Shanxi Province has built the world's largest hydrogen and natural gas refueling station, which can produce 200,000 cubic meters of mixed gas per day, and will soon be put into use.

Why hydrogen energy?

The huge pressure of global carbon dioxide emission reduction gives hydrogen energy an excellent opportunity for development. At present, hydrogen is mainly derived from the reforming of hydrocarbons. The carbon dioxide produced by a conventional internal-combustion vehicle can hardly be collected, and the carbon dioxide produced by the hydrogen reforming process of hydrocarbons can be captured on a large scale and can be buried in storage or used as an industrial raw material. In the long-term planning of hydrogen energy economy, hydrogen production from water decomposition is the main direction of hydrogen production technology in the future.

Renewable energy sources have temporal and spatial instability. Therefore, it is necessary to develop energy storage technologies. Hydrogen is the best energy storage medium. Electrolyzed water can convert unstable renewable energy such as solar energy and wind energy into stable energy for storage. China has the largest installed capacity of wind power in the world, but most of it cannot be effectively connected to the grid. Converting this part of energy into hydrogen energy storage and utilization is an effective means of energy storage.

96% of hydrogen energy in the world comes from fossil energy and 4% comes from water electrolysis, but this part is mainly from hydropower stations and does not originate from new energy such as solar energy and wind energy. Experts hope to increase this part to 30% to 40% in the future.

For hydrogen energy application technology, the main hydrogen energy conversion methods at present are hydrogen fuel cells and hydrogen internal combustion engines. The hydrogen energy utilization technology, especially the hydrogen fuel cell technology, is stable, efficient, and non-polluting. It shows great advantages in mobile transportation, electricity storage, and distributed energy supply, and solves the two major problems of continuous energy supply and environmental protection.

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