Shell Oil Opens Hydrogen Filling Station


Making hydrogen energy a reality. Benning Road, Washington DC may not look like an historic landmark but Rick Scott is convinced of its importance.

Here is a Shell fuel station that has attracted such interest that even local resident, George W Bush, has dropped by for a visit. What’s the attraction? The answer can be found in the fuel pump on the right hand side. That pump dispenses hydrogen fuel and this is the USA’s first gasoline/hydrogen filling station, opened by Shell in 2004.

As Operations and Safety Coordinator for Shell Hydrogen, Rick Scott was instrumental in setting up the fuel station which is helping to keep a fleet of hydrogen-powered vehicles on the streets of Washington DC. The global energy community is just as excited as Rick about the hydrogen’s potential as a vehicle fuel. It’s the ultimate renewable fuel as it can be obtained from many sources, including plain water. And it’s clean – when used as a fuel for fuel cell vehicles, emissions are nothing more than water vapour.

Some see Hydrogen as an important fuel for the future but Rick Scott doesn’t want to wait that long. He and Shell are working to make hydrogen fuel a reality today. That’s why the pumps are so important; after all, nobody’s going to start using a hydrogen vehicle unless theres somewhere to refuel.

With its partners, Shell Hydrogen is beginning to put a complete infrastructure in place, from fuel production and distribution to refuelling stations. This is a global strategy. Shell is setting up hydrogen refuelling stations and cooperating with motor manufacturers in conducting trials of Hydrogen vehicles in Japan and Europe as well as North America. And we are now building Chinas first hydrogen refuelling station, in partnership with Tongji University.

‚ Why hydrogen? We need cleaner vehicle fuels. Transportation is estimated to contribute 26% of global CO2 emissions* and the volume of traffic on our roads is growing worldwide. And because there are finite resources of fossil fuels, we need to find competitive alternatives. Hydrogen is virtually inexhaustible so its a compelling candidate as a large-scale energy source now and in the future: Hydrogen is better for the environment. The only by-product from hydrogen powered fuel cell vehicles is water vapour. It could therefore eliminate pollution from vehicles exhausts as well as CO2 emissions. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are also significantly more efficient than those with internal combustion engines, using up to 60% of the fuels energy – double that of today’s gasoline-fuelled cars. 

It is estimated that hydrogen could be fuelling up to 700 million vehicles by 2050*. But well before then, Shell wants to make Hydrogen pumps as familiar a sight on our station forecourts as gasoline or diesel pumps. Rick Scott and Shell Hydrogen are making a great start. 

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