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Global Warming Potential and Societal-governmental Impacts of the Hydrogen Ecosystem in the Transportation Sector


The environmental and societal challenges of our contemporary society are leading us to reconsider our approaches to vehicle design. The aim of this article is to provide the reader with the essential knowledge needed to responsibly design a vehicle equipped with a hydrogen fuel cell system. Two pivotal aspects of hydrogen-electric powertrain eco-design are examined. First, the global warming potential is assessed for both PEMFC systems and Type IV hydrogen tanks, accounting for material extraction, production, and end-of-life considerations. The usage phase was omitted from the study in order to facilitate data adaptation for each type of use. PEMFC exhibits a global warming potential of about 29.2 kgCO2eq/kW, while the tank records 12.4 kgCO2eq/kWh, with transportation factors considered. Secondly, the societal and governmental impacts are scrutinized, with the carbon-intensive hydrogen tank emerging as having the most significant societal and governmental risks. In fact, on a scale of 1–5, with 5 representing the highest level of risk, the PEMFC system has a societal impact and governance risk of 2.98. The Type IV tank has a societal impact and governance risk of 3.31. Although uncertainties persist regarding the results presented in this study, the values obtained provide an overview of the societal and governmental impacts of the hydrogen ecosystem in the transportation sector. The next step will be to compare, for the same usage, which solution between hydrogen-electric and 100% battery is more respectful of humans and the environment.

Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: France

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