I’ve talked about the building of the Japanese Hydrogen Highway before and how this country that imports most of its raw materials could benefit by switching to using hydrogen cars. Now, it looks like Japan is getting serious about rolling out H2 vehicles by 2015.
Japan will be using some of its lower grade hydrogen targeted for crude oil refineries and redirect this for use in hydrogen cars. According to IB Times, Japan is “…moving towards the adoption of fuel cell vehicles by 2015. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry wants to secure a steady supply of high purity hydrogen with the hydrogen used in fuel cells 99.99 per cent pure, while the hydrogen that is used by oil distributors is about 90 per cent pure.”
In other news, Japanese researchers have developed a rare metal alternative alloy using nanoscale rhodium and silver particles for use in fuel cells. Typically more expensive platinum or palladium are used in fuel cells to create electricity. But the Japanese alloy, which acts like palladium is far cheaper and is expected to bring down the cost of fuel cells significantly using either this alloy or other similar, cheap alloys using the same production method.
Being a large island smaller than the state of California, Japan is perfectly poised for this type of venture. Much less infrastructure will need to be built in comparison to say the United States or European Union to support hydrogen cars and Japan is right on track to make this conversion happen.