London, United Kingdom (PressExposure) June 26, 2008 -- With businesses in the UK increasingly mandated to curb their carbon emissions, reduce their oil dependency and adopt responsible environmental initiatives, Linde Material Handling, a world leader in forklift production and material handling, has taken a major leap forward in providing viable eco-friendly solutions.
Based locally in Basingstoke, Linde has recently unveiled a series of new product designs in development that are intended for eventual use within the UK market. These designs will incorporate environmentally-friendly hybrid solutions aimed at maximising fuel efficiency.
Linde is now showcasing two different hydrogen powered drive concepts for the future, including a 39X series IC truck, the worldâs first forklift employing a hydrogen engine with direct injection and compressor. The concept vehicle is ready for use and with a load capacity of 3-tonnes it is designed to be highly efficient and to reach its full power rating even when operated with hydrogen.
âWhether we are using diesel, electric, bio-fuel, hydrogen or any other fuel source that reaches the market in the coming years, a fundamental means to maximize fuel use is through efficient operation,â said Mark Sullivan, Product Support and Service Director for Linde in the UK. âIf one truck is more efficient than another moving pallets, then less power is consumed, fleet numbers can be reduced and this in turn leads to lower costs, fewer emissions and less waste disposal.â
In addition to hydrogen engines, Linde has also developed a P250 tow tractor with a hydrogen fuel cell. This vehicle is on the brink of prototype maturity for small series development and over the next seven years, Linde plans to send a total of 50 successive industrial trucks with hydrogen technology for a broad range of field tests.
âThe future is hydrogenâ stated Sullivan. âEither as a fuel to be fed into an internal combustion engine or used to power a fuel cell to generate electricity for an electric truck.â Exactly when manufacturers will launch the first hydrogen product on the market is yet to be determined. Linde believes that hydrogen-powered trucks could be economically viable from 2015. Linde has said that the company is thoroughly committed to conducting additional research and developing further enhancements that will lead to the completion of the first truck field tests in the near future. ####
NOTES TO EDITORS:
Hydrogen Technology: The principle benefit of hydrogen is that it is currently considered to be the cleanest source of energy, as it predominantly emits water vapour when converted into electric energy. A further benefit is the sheer unlimited availability of hydrogen. Furthermore, if the hydrogen is produced using electrolysis with renewable energy sources such as hydroelectric power, wind energy or photovoltaic then the vision of an emissionless energy cycle could become a reality.
Hydrogen-operated fuel cells offer just as much potential for the future as hydrogen drives, because they are powered by an inexhaustible reservoir of "green" energy sources, such as sun, water, wind or biomass as well as industrially generated hydrogen.
Fuel cells consist of two electrodes supplied with hydrogen and oxygen. The electrodes are separated by a layer called the polymer-electrolyte membrane, but if they are connected with an electrical conductor, electrical current is generated. The current generated by the hydrogen supplies an electric motor that drives the tractor. Since emissions are reduced to zero with this technology, hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles are also suitable for use in the sensitive food industry. In addition, there is no need to charge batteries for several hours; instead, it only takes five minutes to fill the tanks with hydrogen gas, which can then be stored for a long period of time.
However the primary barrier to hydrogen fuel today is cost. There is a lack of an economically priced supply of hydrogen gas or fuel cells â fuels cells are approximately 4 times more expensive than traditional lead acid batteries.
About Linde: With technologically leading products and a comprehensive range of services, Linde Material Handling is one of the world's leading manufacturers of trucks and warehouse vehicles. Linde is also one of the most important producers of hydrostatic and electric drives. Linde Material Handlingâs head office in the UK is located in Basingstoke. Linde Material Handling is part of the KION Group, which is the European market leader in industrial trucks; in the global market, it holds second place. Linde Material Handling employs approximately 12,500 people worldwide and in 2006 recorded annual sales of almost EUR 2.6 billion. Visit Linde online at: http://www.linde-mh.co.uk
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