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Hybrid PEM Fuel Cell Power Plants Fuelled by Hydrogen for Improving Sustainability in Shipping: State of the Art and Review on Active Projects


The interest in hybrid polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) fuelled by hydrogen in shipping has seen an unprecedented growth in the last years, as it could allow zero-emission navigation. However, technical, safety, and regulatory barriers in PEMFC ship design and operation are hampering the use of such systems on a large scale. While several studies analyse these aspects, a comprehensive and up-to-date overview on hydrogen PEMFCs for shipping is missing. Starting from the survey of past/ongoing projects on FCs in shipping, this paper presents an extensive review on maritime hydrogen PEMFCs, outlining the state of the art and future trends for hydrogen storage and bunkering, powertrain, and regulations. In addition to the need for a clear regulatory framework, future studies should investigate the development of an efficient fuel supply chain and bunkering facilities ashore. As for the onboard power system, health-conscious energy management, low-temperature heat recovery, and advancements in fuel processing have emerged as hot research topics.

Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: Italy

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