the Partnership on goals for individual components; (3) provide input to the Partnership on needs and gaps in the hydrogen analysis program including the important industrial perspective; and (4) foster full transparency in all analyses, including an independent assessment of information and analyses from other technical teams.
This effort involves source-to-vehicle-tank analysis, including costs, energy use, safety, availability of critical resources, and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The accomplishment of these goals is overseen by the fuel pathways integration technical team (FPITT), with representation from the DOE, the energy companies, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). FPITT’s expertise supports the analysis efforts of the Partnership, coordinates fuel activities with the vehicle systems analysis technical team, recommends additional pathway analyses, provides input from industry on practical considerations, and acts as honest broker for the information generated by other technical teams.
The DOE continues to make important progress toward understanding and preparing for the transition to hydrogen fuel. In the continuing source-to-wheels analysis, seven pathways, including both distributed and centralized hydrogen production, have been assessed, and the key drivers for pathway costs, energy use, and emissions have been identified. In addition, estimates have been developed for the water, electricity, natural gas, and platinum requirements for various pathways, and a biomass supply-and-demand assessment for major U.S. cities and regions was developed. A hydrogen quality study by the Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) was reviewed, and efforts are underway to incorporate hydrogen quality, cost, and benefit into the pathway analysis protocol. This will be very important, given that different pathways produce hydrogen with different levels of impurities that significantly impact performance and perhaps durability. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) have developed standards for hydrogen purity that should be finalized in 2010. These standards can be further modified if research indicates that different standards are justified.
The technology is available to produce and distribute hydrogen commercially for large users, but it is not yet completely optimized and cost-effective for supplying local vehicle fueling stations. Research efforts are focused on the further development of options that reduce cost, dependence on imported petroleum and natural gas, and greenhouse gas emissions. The primary constraint to the broad availability of hydrogen is the construction of a distribution system similar to the natural gas pipeline network. The Partnership has already developed several options for distributed hydrogen generation that could be used while such a national distribution system is being built.
As indicated above, the long-term effort of the Partnership has thus far been focused on hydrogen. However, the Partnership now is examining three power system approaches, only one of which involves hydrogen: fuel cells powered by hydrogen, advanced combustion engines powered by biofuels, and PHEVs and BEVs powered by electricity. Clearly, additional effort is needed to develop mean-