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HYDROGEN ITS POTENTIAL Applications and Associated Costs in Civil and Rail Engineering

October 5, 2022 Civil Bites 1 Comment


Transportation technology has had a significant impact on the development of the world in the past, is still influencing it now, and will have a significant impact on the development of the world in the future. Roads and other forms of transportation are Associated Costs and time-consuming to build associated costs, and require a significant commitment of time and money. However, the building, growth, and maintenance of communication routes have been on the agenda of many jurisdictions since ancient times because of the great interest in infrastructure development for economic and strategic purposes.




When the railway era began at the turn of the nineteenth century, land and maritime transportation had already advanced significantly. In 1830, the first ever public railway transit system was put into operation, displaying a travel speed of 30 kilometers per hour. Today, high-speed trains can reach speeds of more than 300 kilometers per hour because of advances in technology that have taken place over the last 185 years, including diesel-electric and electric-only locomotives. The Shinkansen train in Japan can reach speeds in excess of 500 km/h.

Although the 1435 mm gauge Stephenson recommended for the pioneering railroads is being used today, it is important to note that this gauge has been accepted as a standard for railway construction across the globe. This demonstrates the long-term impact of a previous choice.
There are several economic, social, energy, and environmental benefits to rail transportation, making it the finest land transportation alternative. When compared to other modes of transportation, rail offers several advantages such as lower emissions and fuel consumption per passenger (or unit of freight) moved, less land usage (three times less land is needed than on highways), and a high rate of travel. Cargoes are often delivered on light rail and heavy-duty trains, although commodities may also be moved by tram, funicular or monorail systems. The unit train, the carload, and the intermodal mode are all ways of rail transport that connect with maritime and road modes of transportation employing trailers, containers, and tanks today. Single fixed-type and dual-type rails are used to power the rail vehicles. The advent of railroads in the industrialized world changed the course of human history.

Georgescu-Roegen (1986) argues that the use of coal and/or wood in steam engines provided sufficient motive power in a ready-to-use manner, allowing for easier extraction and processing of minerals, construction of railroads facilitated by better technology using machines, and the development of more and better steam engines, railroad locomotives, and railcars. GHG emissions into the atmosphere surged “exponentially” during the course of 150 years when steam locomotives dominated the transportation industry. The success of railroads in spurring technical advancement has rendered steam locomotives obsolete in favor of diesel-electric locomotives, which are now totally replacing them. There are just a few places in the world where electric railroads have been built to accommodate locomotives that can only run on electricity. When an initial abundance of a resource spurs exponential consumption and development, Bejan and Lorente (2011)highlight the universality of the paradigm transition phenomena. Paradigm shift: Growth cannot be maintained owing to limiting resources; see Hubert’s peak hypothesis in Hubbert (1949).


Today’s paradigm change in rail transportation is owing to civilization having reached a point where fossil fuel supplies are depleting rapidly due to increased use, and because of the increased detrimental effect of atmospheric pollutants due to global warming as a result. With a predicted growth rate of 2.8 kt/year for the next 15 years, diesel-electric rail locomotive operating is now responsible for GHG emissions of approximately120 kt of CO2 equivalent per year today.

According to Dincer et Alprevious’s research, these facts exist (2015). Power generated by a regional power generating mix is delivered to the electric train in countries like Japan and the European Union. To put it another way, the electric train system is not completely emission-free since the bulk of grid power production is dependent on fossil fuel burning (or even indirect fossil fuel combustion such as in nuclear power). Energy usage per freight tonne and kilometre for rail transport is around 0.4%. Coal-fired power plants release 150 g of CO2 for every tonne of energy they offer for a single kilometer of rail transit, according to this metric.

According to previous years’ data and forecasts, transportation is expected to increase at a positive yearly rate in the near future. According to Mantzos (2003), rail transport in the European Union is expected to rise by 125% by 2020, equating to around 1% of Europe’s total energy consumption and the associated levels of greenhouse gas emissions.
The rise in train traffic is associated with a slew of environmental problems. There are several pollutants that contribute to air pollution, including carbon dioxide (CO), non-combusted hydrocarbons (NHCs), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and particle matter (PM). Acid rain, animal poisoning, stratospheric ozone depletion, ecological degradation, accidents, and risks are all linked to these, as are emissions of sulfur dioxide and volatile organic compounds (VOC). In recent years, the amount of air pollution released by railroads in NorthAmerica has risen as this industry has grown in size. 48,000 kilometers of track make up the Canadian rail network, making it one of the world’s biggest. Rail freight services, which employ 3043 locomotives and 59,395 freight cars, make up the majority of the rail transportation industry and provide 90% of its operating income.

There has been a considerable rise in diesel fuel use in Canada during 2009, from 1.87 billion litres to over 2.11 billion litres, according to the Railway Association Canada (RAC). For 2015, RAC (2014) has set a goal of a 6% reduction in GHG emissions from freight rail transport in Canada compared to 2010. EPA (2012) advises that the maximum amount of air pollutants generated by line haul operation must be 0.14 g/bhp.hr for hydrocarbons, 1.3 g/bhp.hr of nitrogen oxides, 1.5 g/bhp.hr of carbon dioxide, and 0.26 g/bhp.hr of fine particulate matter (PM). As a result of this pressure, new ideas and research and development in the railway industry are spawned.Shunping et al. (2009), in a previous transportation review study, focused mostly on energy use and associated studies. Malaysian transportation policy was also a subject of interest in this study (Ong et al., 2012). Rondinelli and Berry examine the logistical and environmental impacts of multimodal transportation (2000).The environmental effect of any economic activity, particularly the transportation industry, is becoming more and more critical.

As a result, Valipour et al argument’s for using flow diagrams to analyse industrial sectors’ environmental effect is sound (2012). In Valipour et al., they explain their methodology in further detail.
To make clean rail operations more appealing from an economic and environmental standpoint, it is critical to discover feasible solutions and energy alternatives that link the industry to more stable energy sources with less reliance on imports and variable associated costs. This topic has not been addressed in previous sector assessments of transportation. In addition, there are no comprehensive assessments focusing on rail transportation choices for a cleaner environment in respect to their immediate or long-term relevance. New energy choices for clean rail and civil possibilities are discussed in this article that concentrates heavily on natural gas as a feasible solution for immediate use.




Fig. 1 shows the diversified nature of transportation, including land, sea, air, as well as freight and people, and how hydrogen and fuel cells fit into each. There will be an increase from 1 billion to 2.5 billion passenger automobiles in the globe by 2050, which accounts for about half of global transportation’s energy consumption. (Lilly, 2022)
To satisfy national carbon budget targets, the UK must reduce its transportation CO2 emissions by half by 2030.A rise in emissions and a drop in renewable energy use have prompted demands for more aggressive action in the United Kingdom’s transportation sector. (CCC, 2016)In addition to biofuels and electric cars, hydrogen is one of the three key possibilities for low-carbon transportation (EVs). Hydrogen avoids the land-use and air-quality issues of biofuels, as well as the restricted range and lengthy recharging periods associated with EVs, by using hydrogen as its fuel.

HYDROGEN-its-potential-figure-4 Associated Costs


Figure 1:Global transportation energy use in 2015

As a result of their cheaper prices and more easily accessible infrastructure, electric automobiles have a long way to go before hydrogen vehicles. Plug-in electric cars currently account for 30% of new vehicle sales in Norway and 2% of new vehicle sales in the United Kingdom. (Norsk elbilforening, 2017) Additionally, hydrogen-powered cars may enhance the quality of the air. Premature fatalities from particulates and NOx pollution kill more than half a million people in Europe each year. (EEA, 2016) There is a direct cost of roughly h24b per year in Europe owing to Associated Costs illness-induced output losses, healthcare, agricultural yield losses, and damage to structures, as well as an estimated h330–940b per year in external expenditures. 92% of the world’s population is subjected to air quality that is worse than the standards set by the WHO. (WHO, 2016) Diesel-powered vehicles will be banned in major cities by 2025, and all pure combustion vehicles will be banned countrywide by 2040 in the UK and France. (Reuters, 2017)


It is possible to convert conventional internal combustion engines (known as “HICEs”) to operate on pure hydrogen, which is far cheaper than fuel cells. As a result, it’s unlikely that hydrogen combustion will have a substantial long-term impact on transportation. In dual-fuel automobiles, hydrogen may be combined with Associated Costs natural gas (referred to as “hyphae”) or diesel, and in biofuel powertrains, it can be switched Associated Costs between the two. Existing infrastructure may be used, although they are not zero-emission, and may be replaced by lower-carbon alternatives in the future. (Hart et al., 2015) https://www.iso.org/standard/55083.html

FCEVs often employ PEM fuel cells because of their high efficiency, high power density and ability to start from cold. European automobiles often use a 60 kW fuel cell, which is much bigger than domestic fuel cells. (B1 kW). Most trips can be completed using only the vehicle’s onboard battery, with the option to switch to the engine or fuel cell for longer or more infrequent trips. Other alternatives include vehicles with conventional Associated Costs internal combustion engines (ICE), batteries, and plug-in hybrid systems (PHEVs, also referred to as range-extender EVs). (Stewart and Stewart, 2016) Table 1 compares hydrogen powertrains to alternatives and reveals the following differences: (Pollet, Staffell and Shang, 2012)

HYDROGEN-its-potential-figure-5 Associated Costs

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