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Honda to produce hydrogen for fuel cell cars



Honda Motor Co has said it has developed a compact machine to produce hydrogen at a household garage to replenish fuel cell electric cars that run on electricity generated by the chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen.

The Los Angeles Center of Honda R&D Americas Inc is testing the "solar hydrogen station" intended for ultimate use as a "home refueling appliance capable of an overnight refill of fuel cell electric vehicles," Honda yesterday said.

Honda said it hopes that the home hydrogen station will facilitate the dissemination of fuel cell vehicles in various countries.

The 15-square-meter station, featuring a "high-pressure electrolyzer" to decompose water into hydrogen and oxygen by electric currents from its 54-sq-meter solar cell array, can produce 0.5 kilogram of hydrogen in eight hours, a Honda spokesman said, adding the company expects ordinary households to use solar cells on the roofs of their garages.

This amount of hydrogen would enable Honda's FCX Clarity fuel cell vehicle to travel 50 kilometers, the automaker said.

If users installed a separate hydrogen storage tank in a household garage, it would enable them to replenish the vehicle more speedily.

Honda said the new appliance does away with a compressor unit unlike Honda's conventional refueling appliances as it can produce and compress hydrogen with the identical high-pressure electrolyzer.