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Second Hydrogen station opens in Mantova, Italy

With the opening of the second hydrogen-station in Mantova (Italy) the project ZERO REGIO has reached another milestone.

Eni chief executive, Paolo Scaroni, and the President of the Lombardy Region, Roberto Formigoni, opened the third Agip multiEnergy service station, a state-of-the-art facility that makes innovative use of new forms of energy to improve respect for the quality of the environment and of life. The station is part of the European Zero Regio Project, which aims to develop, in Lombardy and the Rhein-Main region in Germany, integrated systems for sustainable mobility through the use of multifuel hydrogen service stations for zero-emissions vehicles.

The Zero Regio Project, which is co-financed by the European Commission, involves the construction and experimentation of two innovative structures for the supply of multifuel hydrogen, in Mantua and Frankfurt, for the refuelling of fuel cell vehicles, using a range of technological options for the production and distribution of hydrogen. 16 partners from 4 European countries are involved in the project and it is coordinated, at a European level, by Infraserv Höchst GmbH and in Italy by the Lombardy Region.

In Mantua hydrogen is produced, at the service station, using a gas-powered 20 mc/h reformer. The technology uses a high-temperature catalytic process with a pre-mixed flow of steam and natural gas which is transformed into hydrogen in successive stages. The fleet of vehicles is made up of three cell fuel-driven Fiat Pandas, bought by the Lombardy Region for the municipality of Mantua.

Always with the aim of reducing CO2 emissions, the Mantua and Frankfurt stations are also considered „Green Petrol Stations”, given that they are equipped with solar panels of 8 and 20 kWp respectively, that can generate electricity from a renewable source of around 30,000 kWh/year, which corresponds to a reduction of around 16 tons/year of CO2 emissions. For the petrol-based part, multiEnergy is an innovative modular concept that integrates the refuelling of hydrogen with a range of conventional liquid and gaseous fuels, including biofuels, with a view to contributing to the development of the new generation of low/zero-emission vehicles that car manufacturers are offering the market.

In terms of energy saving, the multiEnergy station could become, in the short term, a platform for bio-construction and bio-architecture to test low-impact recycled materials, electrical, heating, air-conditioning and lighting systems with efficiency gains that will make it possible to reduce energy consumption in terms of kWh/m2/year as is happening across Europe.

In the short term Eni will use hydrogen mixed with methane. The aim being to launch, at a national and European level, the use of this hydrogen-methane mix as an immediate solution, exploiting the Italian competitive advantage in terms of infrastructure and know-how in methane compared with the rest of Europe. Eni’s commitment has been formally recognised by two important sustainability indexes: the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and the FTSE4Good.

The creation of this new Agip multiEnergy station is a further demonstration of Eni’s commitment to the continuous improvement of the entire Agip network and the objective of providing a wide range of services and products. Eni has always viewed “Technology and Environment” together; the Agip network was the first in Italy to distribute unleaded petrol in 1987 and to produce, from the early ’90s, low sulphur diesel, as well as products such as BluDiesel, BluSuper, sulphur-free diesel and petrol, anticipating by a wide margin the introduction of European norms in 2009.

In Lombardia FIAT Panda Hydrogen will be fed from a central production facility as well as from an ‘On-Site’ reformer facility developed within the project. The reformer produces hydrogen from natural gas at the service station. A dispenser unit for hydrogen gas at 350bar is built and integrated in the public multi-fuel service station to be built within the project like at Höchst. In the first step the Panda Hydrogen-Cars are filled with 200bar. In the next 24 months the FIAT hydrogen-cars are tested in every day-life in northern Italy, explains Heinrich Lienkamp, Infraserv Höchst. The aim is to improve the acceptance for this future technology within society. (petrolplaza)