Title: Role of hydrogen tanks in the life cycle assessment of fuel cell-based auxiliary power units
Citation: APPLIED ENERGY vol. 215 p. 1-12
Publication Year: 2018
JRC N°: JRC107420
ISSN: 0306-2619
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC107420
DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2018.01.095
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: In the framework of the European project SSH2S, a solid-state hydrogen storage tank - fuel cell system was demonstrated as Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) for a light duty vehicle. In this work, we have assessed the environmental impacts and the costs of the system developed. Following an eco-design approach, we have identified the processes mostly contributing to them and we have suggested possible improvements. By performing a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), we found that, when the electricity consumption for hydrogen gas compression is included into the analysis, a solid-state hydrogen storage tank has similar greenhouse gas emissions and primary energy demand than those of type III and IV tanks. However, the resources depletion is higher for the solid-state system, even though the inclusions of the end of life of the APU and the recycling of the materials may result in different conclusions. The costs of an APU equipped with a solid-state hydrogen storage tank are significantly higher, about 1.5–2 times the systems based on type III and IV tanks. However, mature technologies are compared with a prototype, which has much room for optimization. To improve both the environmental and economic performances of the APU, a reduction of structural materials for both the solid-state hydrogen tank and Balance of Plant is recommended.
JRC Directorate:Energy, Transport and Climate

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