Hydrogen transport proposed for opencast mines

13th March 2018 By: Martin Creamer - Creamer Media Editor

Hydrogen transport proposed for opencast mines

Ian Fraser

JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) - Hydrogen transportation technology would be useful in large opencast mines, where a number of haul trucks operate in a limited radius, says RTS Africa Engineering MD Ian Fraser.

Such an application could serve as a stepping stone to the realisation of the value of hydrogen technology in transportation and also serve to usher in a cleaner, more environment-friendly future, Fraser contends in a release to Creamer Media's Mining Weekly Online.

His view is that hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) hold the better potential for diminished environmental harm than battery-powered electric vehicles (EVs).

This is because the spent batteries of EVs contain environmentally unfriendly materials, whereas the only replaceable part in an FCV is the catalytic membrane, which is made of a platinum-group metal that can be recycled and used to build a new fuel cell.

"The result is that there is no environmental fallout from the process," says the head of RTS Africa, whose principal, Nel Hydrogen, has reportedly received an order from Nikola Motor Company for two demonstration hydrogen refuelling stations for the motor company's prototype hydrogen trucks.

The first demonstration stations in the second half of 2018 are expected to serve as design verification for a larger clustering concept.