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IIT Madras Launches Hydrogen Valley Innovation Hub with Hyundai's Support

26 Jun 2024

Good news for upcoming hydrogen technologies

IIT Madras, in collaboration with Hyundai Motor India and Guidance Tamil Nadu, is setting up the pioneering Hydrogen Valley Innovation Hub. With a substantial investment of Rs 180 crore, including Rs 100 crore from Hyundai, this hub aims to spearhead research and development in hydrogen technologies, extending far beyond automotive applications.

Expanding the Horizons of Hydrogen Research

Aravind Kumar Chandiran, an associate professor at the Department of Chemical Engineering at IIT Madras, emphasized that the hub's research focus is much broader than just automotive hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). The initiative will delve into hydrogen internal combustion engines (H2ICE), which can be utilized in various machinery and industrial applications. Unlike FCEVs, H2ICEs do not require extremely high purity hydrogen, making them a more feasible option given the current limitations in hydrogen purity standards.

Promoting a Green Hydrogen Ecosystem

A major thrust of the Hydrogen Valley Innovation Hub is to foster a robust green hydrogen ecosystem in India. IIT Madras is the nodal agency for this project, emphasizing localization of manufacturing, skill development, and creation of validation platforms. The institute aims to perform comprehensive roadmap and landscape analyses to bolster the hydrogen ecosystem in the country.

Hyundai's Commitment to Hydrogen Innovation

Hyundai's Rs 100 crore contribution is part of the automaker’s global strategy to lead in hydrogen fuel research. Hyundai has been a frontrunner in hydrogen technology, with a portfolio that includes hydrogen-powered cars, trucks, and buses. The company’s ix35 FCEV was the world’s first mass-produced hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle, highlighting Hyundai's commitment to sustainable transportation solutions.

IIT Madras' Role and Contributions

IIT Madras is not only providing land and infrastructure for the Hydrogen Valley Innovation Hub but is also deeply involved in developing a curriculum and body of knowledge to support skill development in this emerging field. The institute is establishing a centre of excellence that will function as a think tank, conducting annual conferences, workshops, and publishing research papers. This centre will also play a critical role in the operation and maintenance of the hub, ensuring continuous innovation and development.

The Future of Hydrogen Technology

The Hydrogen Valley Innovation Hub at IIT Madras represents a significant leap towards sustainable energy solutions in India. By harnessing the potential of hydrogen technologies, the hub aims to address the critical need for clean energy alternatives and position India as a leader in the global hydrogen economy.

The Hydrogen Valley Innovation Hub is set to be a beacon of innovation and sustainability, driving the future of hydrogen technology and contributing significantly to global efforts in reducing carbon emissions and promoting green energy.

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