The global mining conglomerate Anglo America has launched the world's largest hydrogen-powered truck at Mogalakwena platinum mine in northern South Africa. The massive vehicle is the size of a medium house and weighs 220 tonnes.
Solar energy will be used to break water into its component atoms of hydrogen and oxygen, which will be used to fuel the vehicle. When hydrogen is burned, it produces merely water vapour, whereas fossil fuels produce carbon dioxide.
The haul truck system uses numerous fuel cells that deliver up to 800kW of electricity; hence, the hydrogen truck has a 2 MW battery pack. The truck has more power than its diesel predecessor and can carry a weight of 320 tonnes.
The vehicle was built to work in the everyday mining conditions of Mogalakwena mine. The mine is the biggest open-pit platinum group metals mine in the world. Anglo American plans to replace a fleet of 40 trucks that consume around a million liters of diesel per year.
The hybrid truck is part of Anglo American's nuGen Zero Emission Haulage Solution (ZEHS), a green hydrogen system at the mine site. The device will use solar energy to power a hydrogen electrolyzer that will split water and produce green hydrogen fuel for the trucks.
By 2026, the ZEHS project is projected to be completely operational. It's the first step toward the company's goal of making eight of its mines carbon neutral by 2030. The global mining corporation has set a goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2040.
Mr. Duncan Wanblad, the company's CEO, claimed that they intend to replace their current fleet of diesel-powered trucks with this zero-emission haulage system fueled by green hydrogen. By implementing this technology across its global fleet, the company expects to reduce diesel emissions by up to 80% at its open-pit mines over the next few years.
On the launch day, the president of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, also stated that "what we are releasing is not only an incredible piece of machinery, it is the birth of a whole ecosystem driven by hydrogen." "This has truly been a historic occasion. It provides us with a clear picture of the future," President Ramaphosa continued.
This development came after the COP26 in Glasgow, where wealthy nations such as France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States offered at least $8.5 billion in financial and technical aid to assist South Africa in transitioning to a low-carbon economy.
The manufacturing of 100% pure hydro treated vegetable oil (HVO)-based biofuel for IVECO heavy trucks equipped with engines that can run on it. All of the most current diesel engines can run on high-quality HVO biofuel in its pure form.