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The World's Biggest Hydrogen-Powered Mining Truck Is A Sight To See
Despite the inherent drawbacks of hydrogen-powered vehicles in terms of energy efficiency, cost, and infrastructure, South African mining firm Anglo American recently unveiled the world's largest hydrogen-powered mine haul truck. Unlike BMW or Toyota’s hydrogen vehicles, Anglo American is utilizing the technology for industrial applications on a gigantic scale.
Anglo American's colossal 2 MW hydrogen-battery hybrid truck is the product of the company's nuGen Zero Emissions Haulage Solution, a part of its FutureSmartMining sustainable mining initiative. Working with other technology companies, Anglo American retrofitted a 2-megawatt hybrid battery and hydrogen fuel cell powerplant into a diesel-powered mining hauler.
The fuel cell provides half the power in motivating the truck, while the other half is from a massive battery pack that recovers electricity from braking. Typical of similar vehicles, hydrogen fuel mixes with oxygen to create a chemical reaction using platinum as a catalyst and producing electricity to feed the motors and turn the wheels, while the only emission is water vapor.
The nuGen mining truck has a 290-ton (290,000 kg) payload and a 1.2 MWh battery pack, which generates 800 kW of power. It also weighs more than 15,400 pounds (7,000 kgs), is self-sufficient, and includes a fully-integrated green hydrogen refueling station. The company will produce green hydrogen on-site using the largest electrolyzer and solar arrays in Africa.
The mining firm plans to replace its fleet of diesel-powered mining trucks with nuGen hydrogen trucks in an effort to eliminate a massive portion of their worksite-related diesel emissions. "If this pilot is successful, we could remove up to 80% of diesel emissions at our open-pit mines by rolling this technology across our global fleet," said Duncan Wandblad, Chief Executive of Anglo American.