Engineers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are working to replace refrigerated trucks' diesel-burning cooling system with fuel cells. These fuel cells mix hydrogen and air to create energy; the byproduct is water. Researcher Kriston Brooks says that means fewer greenhouse gas and particulate emissions than from diesel engines.
"From the big picture of how much carbon dioxide we produce and other emissions, it's pretty small," Brooks says. "But it's a start."
Brooks says hydrogen fuel cells are twice as efficient as the diesel engines used to cool refrigerated trucks, but they can be expensive. He and his colleagues are working to make them cheaper for companies to use. The cooling system they are currently working on — which includes a fuel cell and cooling container, — costs about $40,000. By comparison, a diesel-engine-based cooling system typically runs $20,000-$30,000. But, Brooks says, the price of fuel cells is quickly dropping.
Keywords: transportation management, logistics services, green logistics, sustainable supply chain, diesel vs. fuel cells