From Tuesday, buses running on hydrogen-enriched compressed natural gas(HCNG) are going to hit the capital’s roads. A cleaner fuel compared with CNG, HCNG will be used to run 50 buses as part of a pilot project for six months from the Rajghat-1 bus depot.
A four-tonne per day compact reformer-based HCNG production plant has come up at the Rajghat-1 bus depot of Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) and while it was expected to start operations from March, the Covid-19 outbreak put a spanner in the works.
The facility is now going to be inaugurated on Tuesday by Union minister for petroleum and natural gas Dharmendra Pradhan and state transport minister Kailash Gahlot.
The Supreme Court had last year suggested looking at hydrogen-run vehicles as a solution for Delhi NCR’s poor air quality and while the technology will take some time to appear in the capital, HCNG could be a step in that direction.
It was, in fact, a directive of the apex court in July 2018 that had led to Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) and Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL) collaborating to put up this first semi-commercial plant as a pilot project for conducting the study on the use of HCNG fuel in 50 BS IV compliant CNG-run buses in Delhi.