New Age Science Powers The Bus Using Just Formic Acid
Our reliance on the fossil fuels is causing a major to our planet which has resulted in the research towards finding better alternative fuel. In one such attempt a team of students from Eindhoven University of Technology has designed a new system which allows buses to run on formic acid.
The self-built system consists of a bus and a small trailer wherein formic acid is literally converted into electricity for powering the vehicle. Students had named this small trailer ‘REX’ and they are really proud of their efforts as they had brought a new fuel in form of formic acid which is highly sustainable, safe and happens to be CO2 neutral.
Formic Acid Bringing A New Future
The team of students behind this great invention is called Team FAST and they had come with a noble solution to counteract the rising dependence on the fossil fuels. Their fuel is called Hydrozine which comes loaded with 99% of formic acid along with a performance enhancing agent for better output. Team FAST consisted of 35 students who began working on the system in 2016 on a smaller scale but today they had brought a system which 42 thousand times stronger than their model and the ability to generate 25kW power.
The main process of powering the bus is done in the trailer where the new fuel hydrazine is split into hydrogen and CO2. This hydrogen is then effectively utilized to produce electricity which in turn helps in powering the bus. The trailer has been named REX which stands for ‘range extender’ as it acts as a standalone component and helps in expanding the range of the bus. The initial and final test results have shown favourable results and the team is hopeful of rolling out operational buses by this year end.
Varied Benefits And Commendable Future Application of Formic Acid
Hydrozine offers multiple benefits due to its being a cheap and safe alternative to any conventional or renewable source of energy. Transporting hydrogen has always required large tanks as well as high pressure but this cheaper fuel simply tends to does away all of it. The production of the CO2 in the process of splitting the hydrazine is such that it results zero net CO2 which means no major harm to the environment. The best thing about hydrazine is that the use of formic acid makes it four times rich in the energy density when compared to battery.
Team FAST has unveiled their system and showcased it results and finding at an event conducted on the VDMA premises in Eindhoven. They simply showcased the future to the audience wherein they didn’t brought the hydrozine and buses but also presented the first filling station for hydrazine. At the presentation audience got the chance to walk through the electric bus, understand the uses of hydrozine and what future holds for this unique environment friendly system. Their research on the development of this unique system has shown that the use of formic acid in hydrozine has brought the world a new safe and sustainable source of energy.