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World’s First Hydrogen-Powered Vessel Will Set Sail Soon

Hydrogen-powered vessel for Inland routes soon to hit waters

Renewable and sustainable energy sources are making solid grounds in all arenas; the in-land waterways are its latest target.

The demand for using more sustainable technologies for in-land travels has been rising for some years now. And the new hydrogen vessel under development by a French company rightly caters for that demand. The underdeveloped vessel would be the world’s first hydrogen-powered cargo transport vessel set to debut the waters by the end of 2021.

After the final touch-ups to its development, the hydrogen-run cargo transport vessel will launch to the river Seine in Paris using compressed hydrogen produced from electrolysis as its only power source. It would be good to sail on the inland water routes and is not built to cruise the oceans.

“The demand for more sustainable technologies in inland waterway transport is on the rise,” Matthieu Blanc, director of CFT, said in a statement. “As part of the Flagships project, we are happy to be leading the way on reducing emissions from transport and demonstrating the superior features of hydrogen fuel cells in waterborne applications.”

Massive ships for world trade

Massive ships to cruise the oceans have transformed the world trade in the past decades, providing the major source of commuting goods from one part of the world to another. But this is not the only contribution they make. They are also responsible for releasing most of the harmful greenhouse emissions.

These massive ocean sailing ships use “bunker fuel” as their main power source, which is far more harmful in releasing carbon dioxide particles than burning refined fuel. The extent of the damage done and pollution caused by bunker fuel could be calculated just by knowing that it is the second-largest reason to trigger worldwide climate change.

The project to build the world’s first hydrogen run vessel got its initial funding of about $6 million from European Union’s Research and Innovation program in 2018.

Horizon 2020, to aid new ideas to come into existence, further intends to extend support for researching and building hydrogen-fuel cargo transport in the coming times. The hydrogen-run vessel concept model is cruising on the blue waters in Paris, and two additional models are undergoing final development stages.

Need of innovation to move to cargo ships

Taking the hydrogen-run technology to massive cargo ships will come through innovation over time. For now, it seems a little far-fetched of an idea. The conventionally used fossil fuels generate more power while consuming comparatively lesser space than renewable or hydrogen run systems, bringing in more convenience for large-scale trade operations.

The renewable energy sources pose a logistical challenge and are not energy efficient to back for longer journeys. These renewable methods of operating transporting systems come with a considerable price difference, which would substantially increase the operations cost even if an effective system is developed. However, the new hydrogen vessel sounds a promising fit for inland water travels, reducing greenhouse emissions and aiding in environment-friendly travels.