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India Supports Development of Hydrogen Sensing, Analysis Tech

Image credit: Press Information Bureau

The Minister of State for Science and Technology, Jitendra Singh, recently announced the government would support the indigenous development of hydrogen sensing and analysis technology by funding a hydrogen start-up from Maharashtra.

Singh explained that funding the start-up is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s National Hydrogen Mission (NHM), launched last year. NHM strives to meet the government’s climate targets and make India a green hydrogen hub. The country aims to produce five million tonnes of green hydrogen by 2030.

The Technology Development Board, under the Department of Science and Technology, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the start-up to support the domestic manufacturing of hydrogen sensors. According to a press release, the company is developing hydrogen analysis sensors for new-age applications. The development is also related to universal miniaturised core sensor designs for leak detection and/or the analysis of hydrogen. The patented hydrogen gas sensor and analyser are based on a core sensor, which have been conceptualised, developed, manufactured, and serviced entirely in India.

The sensors do not face cross interference from other combustible or reducing gases. They can function in the air and inert/vacuum backgrounds and can perform analysis from 1 PPM (parts per million) to 100% pure hydrogen. Portable detectors can operate continuously for up to 36 hours on a single charge. The sensors are non-corrosive and have a shelf life of five years. Other features include:

  • minimum detection: parts per million (PPM) range
  • maximum detection: 100% pure hydrogen
  • an instant response rate (within three seconds)
  • low power consumption for core sensor operation

The energy demand is growing and with the limitation of existing resources, there is a need for alternative fuel, Singh said. As hydrogen replaces fossil fuel, the production of it using power from renewable energy (green hydrogen) is a major requirement in the journey towards environmentally sustainable energy security.

A report by the National Institute for Transforming India (NITI Aayog), titled ‘Harnessing Green Hydrogen: Opportunities for Deep Decarbonisation in India’, said that hydrogen will provide a pathway to accelerate the emergence of a green hydrogen economy, which is critical for India to achieve its net-zero ambitions by 2070.

Earlier this week, Singh launched India’s first indigenously-developed Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bus in Pune city. At the event, Singh said that green hydrogen is an excellent clean energy vector that enables the deep decarbonisation of difficult-to-abate emissions from the refining, fertiliser, steel, and cement industries. At the event, Singh noted that the fuel cell utilises hydrogen and air to generate electricity to power the bus and the only effluent from the bus is water. It could be the most environmentally-friendly mode of transportation to date.

A single diesel bus plying on long-distance routes typically emits 100 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually, and there are over a million such buses in India. Fuel cell vehicles produce zero greenhouse gas emissions. The government believes hydrogen-fuelled vehicles provide an excellent means to eliminate on-road emissions from the heavy commercial transportation sector.

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