Life cycle assessment of the electrolytic production and utilization of low carbon hydrogen vehicle fuel

Tim Patterson*, Sandra Esteves, Stephen Carr, Fan Zhang, James Reed, Jon Maddy, Alan Guwy

*Corresponding author for this work

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Environmental burdens associated with small scale (40 L hydrogen per minute) production of hydrogen fuel using electrolysis powered by electricity generated from stand-alone wind turbines (30 kW), stand-alone photovoltaic panels (3 kW peak) and UK grid electricity (current and future) has been undertaken. Utilization of fuel within a proton exchange membrane fuel cell passenger vehicle was included and compared to the operation of a petrol vehicle, a fuel cell vehicle fuelled with non-renewable hydrogen, and an electric (battery only) vehicle. The production of renewable hydrogen from wind energy incurs increased climate change burdens compared with extraction and processing of fossil petrol (0.09 mPt compared with 0.07 mPt). However, lower burdens for fossil fuel (1.85 mPt) and climate change (0.26 mPt) are realised by the renewable hydrogen options compared with petrol (4.44 mPt and 0.44 mPt, respectively) following utilization of the fuel due to lower emissions at end use. Utilizing a combination of renewable hydrogen fuelled vehicles and grid powered electric vehicles was considered to be a viable option for meeting UK policy ambitions. Copyright (C) 2014, Hydrogen Energy Publications, LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7190-7201
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2014


  • Hydrogen
  • Electrolysis
  • Wind
  • Photovoltaic
  • LCA
  • Vehicle fuel
  • WIND


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