Sustainable mobility in public transport: it's Mhybus

Sustainable mobility in public transport: it's Mhybus

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Sustainable mobility in public transport: the Mhybus experiment, a Ravenna, is the first in Italy to offer an urban bus powered by a mixture of 15% hydrogen and 85% methane. Hydromethane. It works, and now I want it in Korea too.

1) When did the experimentation start and what does it consist of?
The experimentation of sustainable mobility in Ravenna started in 2009 and ended in December 2013. The European Mhybus project involved the circulation on the road of a bus for urban public transport fueled with a mixture of 15% hydrogen and 85% methane by volume, measuring its environmental impacts in terms of CO2 emissions and fuel consumption. However, it all started in 2006 with a study commissioned to ENEA by the Transport DG of the Emilia-Romagna Region. The study, where the environmental impacts caused by the existing public vehicle fleet and those produced by assuming the conversion from natural gas to hydromethane of all vehicles. In this study on the sustainable mobility it emerged that hydromethane could be very beneficial in environmental terms. Mhybus collected quantitative data with respect to these advantages: 15% less CO2 emissions and 13% less fuel consumption.

2) Is it the first in Italy? Are there similar experiences in Europe?

Yes, in the context of sustainable mobility it is the first in Italy of this type. Several experiments with hydromethane have been carried out using private vehicles, but tests on public vehicles and with passengers on board are unprecedented in Italy. After the good Mhybus website, similar experiences are emerging in Europe, in Lithuania for example.

3) What are the technologies and technical-environmental devices used?

The strong environmental benefits of hydromethane can be obtained with very modest investments in vehicles powered by natural gas: hydromethane (containing 15% hydrogen) can be used without mechanical modifications to the vehicle. In Mhybus, to adapt the bus from methane to hydromethane, towards a increasingly sustainable mobility, the setting of the electronic engine control unit was sufficient. The tests on the dangerousness of the mixture used and the analysis on the compatibility of the materials with the mixture after a journey of over 45,000 km gave positive results. It is therefore a technology that is already applicable on a larger scale today and that can facilitate the transition to an ever greater use of hydrogen as energy vector.

4) Why in Ravenna? Can it be proposed in other cities?

One reason is that in the province of Ravenna a large percentage of public transport vehicles run on natural gas and the local company has shown interest in i alternative fuels since 2006. A particular sensitivity for sustainable mobility. Furthermore, in Ravenna there is a hydrogen producer, SOL Spa, partner of the Mhybus project, which has made it possible to supply hydrogen in short range. The Mhybus model can be replicated in other cities in terms of vehicles, for the production and supply of mixture, to maintain sustainable mobility at most, the model may need to be readjusted.

5) Has any city already taken an interest in this?

Based on the results of sustainable mobility shown by the Mhybus project, the public transport company of Bolzano has expressed interest in replicating the experience. The Korean Gas Safety Corporation had already shown an interest in our project sustainable mobility meeting the Mhybus team with the intention of testing hydromethane on a fleet of 10 vehicles in Seoul.

6) What is the next step of your project and what will it be?

The project ended in December 2013, after the final checks on hydromethane vehicle will return to Ravenna where it will continue to circulate, always powered by hydromethane. Given the positive results of the experimentation in the field of sustainable mobility, and given the interest of the parties involved, we would like to extend the use of hydromethane to a fleet of ten vehicles circulating in Ravenna.

7) Who are the actors who made this possible?

Mhybus was co-financed by the European Community, for the sustainable mobility, and is the result of the synergy between public bodies and private companies. Among those involved are the DG Transport and Mobility of the Emilia-Romagna Region, coordinator of the project with the support of ASTER. START Romagna, a public transport company in the provinces of Ravenna, Rimini, Forlì-Cesena, provided the vehicle, SOL, supplied the hydrogen and built the refueling station, and ENEA monitored the environmental data and performance. of the vehicle. Bologna Car Testing Center collaborated for the positive outcome of the project.

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