User:Sean.desmond10/hydrogen highway

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Japan's hydrogen highway is a network of hydrogen filling stations placed along roadsides that provide fuel for Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles (HFCV). An HFCV is a vehicle that uses a fuel cell to convert hydrogen energy into electrical energy. Fuel cell technology is what allowed for the Hydrogen Highway to be built, part of the Japan Hydrogen Fuel Cell Project. This technology has an efficiency of 48% which will reduce wasted energy. The hydrogen that is used for fuel can be made from petroleum and renewable resources. The hydrogen highway is important because it allows for more HFCVs to be produced. The production of more HFCVs will greatly reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases while saving energy.[1] Twelve stations are already in service and the JHFC plans to reach 100 fueling stations by 2015.[2]

Japanese Hydrogen Powered Cars[edit]

The creation of this hydrogen highway sparked the creation of many Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles by the Japanese car companies. Although the HFCVs are not created in mass quantities yet car companies like Honda, Nissan, Mazda, and Toyota are coming out with new ideas that combine the features hybrid vehicles with the features of a Fuel Cell Vehicle (FCV). The main goal of these new FCVs is to convert hydrogen into electricity while only emitting water vapor.Japanese car companies will not start mass producing FCV until the creation of a Hydrogen supply infrastructure network. This network's purpose would be to make the idea of hydrogen powered vehicles more appealing to the public. This infrastructure network should be done by 2015, which is when Japanese automakers plan to launch their FCVs into the market. [3] Some of the FCVs that plan to be released are the following:

  • Nissan X-Trail FCV
    • A hybrid electric and hydrogen powered vehicle that was debuted in 2005. This was Nissan’s first car to contain a fuel cell.
  • Daihatsu Tanto FCHV
    • A vehicle that was based off of the idea of the Move FCV-K2. The cars fuel cell stack was developed by Toyota and was released in 2005.
  • Suzuki Ionis
  • Mazda 5 Premacy
    • A hydrogen powered car that uses a dual-fuel rotart engine which can run off of both hydrogen fuel and gasoline
  • Mitsubishi Nessie
    • An Italian-Japanese car that combines the styling of an Italian car with the efficiency of a Japanese car. This car uses a hydrogen-powered combustion engine.[4]

About the Locations[edit]

A total of 12 fueling stations have been built in 11 cities throughout Japan. The JHFC plans to create a total of 100 hydrogen fuel stations by 2015. These stations would be dispersed throughout Japan which will allow hydrogen powered cars to travel all over the country. The 12 fueling stations that are in service are

  • Ome-shi
    • Mobile station which reforms natural gas
    • Hydrogen Source: City Gas
    • Companies in charge: Babcock-Hitachi K.K.
  • Hadano
    • Hydrogen Source: Kerosene
    • Companies in charge: Idemitsu Kosan Company
    • Energy efficiency: 54.6 LHV
  • Senju
    • Hydrogen Source: LPG, City Gas
    • Companies in charge: Tokyo Gas Company, Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation
    • Energy efficiency:
      • LPG:58.7 LHV
      • City Gas: 60.7 LHV
  • Kasumigaseki
    • Hydrogen Source:Compressed Hydrogen
    • Companies in charge: Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation
    • Mobile hydrogen fueling station near Tokyo that is brought inside at night
  • Ariake
    • Hydrogen Source: Liquid Hydrogen
    • Companies in charge: Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K., Iwatani International Corporation
    • Fueling station that is able to dispense liquid and gaseous forms of hydrogen
  • Sagamilhara
    • Hydrogen Source: Electrolysis
    • Companies in charge: Kurita Water Industries, Sinanen Company, Itochu Enex Company
    • This station creates hydrogen by alkali diaphragm water electrolysis and was the first of its kind
  • Yokohama-Asahi
    • Hydrogen Source: Naphtha
    • Companies in charge: Nippon Oil Company
    • Energy efficiency: 60.4 LHV
  • Kawasaki
    • Hydrogen Source: Menthol
    • Companies in charge: Japan Air Gases
    • Energy efficiency: 65.0 LHV
    • World’s first station that reforms methanol into hydrogen gas. Methanol is a safe natural gas to reform because it can be done at lower temperatures.
  • Yokohama-Tsurumi
    • Hydrogen Source: By Product Soda
    • Companies in charge: Tsurumi Soda Company, Iwatani International Corporation
    • Refuels empty fuel cells from a trailer
  • Yokohama-Daikoku
    • Hydrogen Source: Desulfurized-Gasoline
    • Companies in charge: Cosmo Oil Company
    • Energy efficiency: 58.7 LHV
    • Used steam to reform Desulfurized gasoline into hydrogen
  • Kiimitsu-shi
    • Uses coke oven gas to produce liquid hydrogen[5]



Japan’s hydrogen highway was created as a part of a 4-year Japanese Hydrogen Fuel Cell project (JHFC) plan. The main goals of this plan were to preserve the environment while finding different forms of renewable energy. The first two hydrogen fueling stations were built for the JHFC’s Expo, to promote the usage of hydrogen fuel, in March of 2005. The fuel stations were displayed in two different sides in the city of Seto (Seto-North and Seto-South). This Expo for introducing hydrogen fuel cell technology proved effective as over 1,300 kg of fuel was dispensed from both stations. [7]

Creators of the JHFC[edit]

The members from the government branch are

  • Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
  • Agency of Natural Resources and Energy
  • Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MLIT)

Member from a semi-governmental organization

  • New Energy and Industrial Technology Development

Member of Public Research

  • National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology

Member of Private Firm

  • Fuel Cell Commercialization Conference of Japan

JHFC Objectives[edit]

  • Energy-Saving Impact
    • Show the public how efficient FCVs are
    • Show how emissions and CO2 gases will be reduced
  • Raise Public Awareness about FCVs

Reasons for Japan's Investment in Fuel Cells[edit]

The two motivations for the research and development of fuel cells were because of the energy policy and the industrial policy.

  • Energy policy
    • Create/Find a new source of renewable energy
    • Stay technologically competitive with other companies
      • Many countries are seeing how efficient Fuel Cells are which is why Japan seeks to expand their investments in the Fuel Cell industry
  • Environmental Issues
    • Slow the “climate change”
      • Japan, like the rest of the world, seeks to reduce green house gas emissions by using "safer" forms of energy
  • Industrial policy
    • Maintain a competitive economy through advanced technology
      • Fuel cells are profitable, being well invested in such and industry will give Japan an advantage economically speaking



The cost of these Hydrogen gas stations is not cheap so there are many car and oil companies that are supporting this transition. There are 13 main companies that are paying for the new source of fuel.[8]

  • Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC)
  • Nissan Motor Company
  • Honda Motor Company
  • JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation
  • Idemitsu Kosan Company
  • Iwatani Corporation
  • Osaka Gas Company
  • Cosmo Oil Company
  • Saibu Gas Company
  • Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K.
  • Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation
  • Tokyo Gas Company
  • Toho Gas Company


  1. ^ a b Maeda, Akira. Fuel Cell Technologies in the Japanese National Innovation System, 29 September 2003. Retrieved on 2011-2-1 .
  2. ^ The Kyodo News.Energy Firms Eye Building 100 Hydrogen Stations by 2015 for fuel-cell cars,18 January 2011. Retrieved on 2011-2-5.
  3. ^ The Independent. “Japanese Carmakers in push for hydrogen vehicles”,19 Wednesday 2011. Retrieved on 2011-2-1.
  4. ^ Hydrogen Fuel Cars Now.Hydrogen Fuel Cars 2005 2005, Retrieved on 2011-2-1.
  5. ^ Hydrogen Fuel Cars Now.Japan's Hydrogen Highway, 2005, Retrieved on 2011-2-1.
  6. ^ Shoji Tange.The Japanese Way to Hydrogen Society, 11 May 2006. Retrieved on 2011-2-5.
  7. ^ Fuel Cars Now. "Japan's Hydrogen Highway System.", 19 January 2011. Retrieved on 2011-2-1.
  8. ^ Nissan Global. Coalition of 13 Japanese Companies Come Together for Hydrogen Vehicles Future Cars, 31 January 2011. Retrieved on 2011-2-1.