October 21, 2020. State-run refiner Indian Oil Corp. (IOC) is moving ahead swiftly with its hydrogen ambitions by launching its reformer plant that will produce hydrogen-spiked compressed natural gas (H-CNG), a fuel Indian energy policy makers are betting can play a major role in the transport sector in coming years.
The push towards hydrogen by India’s biggest refiner highlights the company’s strategic vision to transform into an integrated energy company as it steps up efforts to prepare itself for the energy transition process.
On October 20, IOC inaugurated its H-CNG Plant in the Indian capital, while the Petroleum Ministry launched trial run of buses that will run using H-CNG as fuel.
To produce H-CNG, the entire CNG of a station will pass through this new reforming unit and part of the methane gets converted into hydrogen, with the outlet product having 17%-18% hydrogen. IOC officials say emission levels would come down substantially for vehicles using H-CNG as fuel.
“In India’s quest to promote hydrogen as a clean fuel for the mobility sector, H-CNG is emerging as an excellent interim technology for achieving emissions reduction and import substitution. Refueling of H-CNG blends in vehicles can be performed with minimum modifications in the infrastructure that is currently under use for dispensing CNG,” an IOC statement said.