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Fuel cell power trains for road traffic

Fuel cell power trains for road traffic Legal regulations, especially the low emission vehicle (LEV) laws in California, are the driving forces for more intensive technological developments with respect to a global automobile market. In the future, high efficient vehicles at very low emission levels will include low temperature fuel cell systems (e.g., polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC)) as units of hydrogen-, methanol- or gasoline-based electric power trains. In the case of methanol or gasoline/diesel, hydrogen has to be produced on-board using heated steam or partial oxidation reformers as well as catalytic burners and gas cleaning units. Methanol could also be used for direct electricity generation inside the fuel cell (direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC)). The development potentials and the results achieved so far for these concepts differ extremely. Based on the experience gained so far, the goals for the next few years include cost and weight reductions as well as optimizations in terms of the energy management of power trains with PEFC systems. At the same time, questions of fuel specification, fuel cycle management, materials balances and environmental assessment will have to be discussed more intensively. On the basis of process engineering analyses for net electricity generation in PEFC-powered power trains as well as on assumptions for both electric power trains and vehicle configurations, overall balances have been carried out. They will lead not only to specific energy demand data and specific emission levels (CO 2 , CO, VOC, NO x ) for the vehicle but will also present data of its full fuel cycle (FFC) in comparison to those of FFCs including internal combustion engines (ICE) after the year 2005. Depending on the development status (today or in 2010) and the FFC benchmark results, the advantages of balances results of FFC with PEFC vehicles are small in terms of specific energy demand and CO 2 emissions, but very high with respect to local emission levels. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Power Sources Elsevier
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