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SwRI to publish second hydrogen technology information report

July 26, 2007 — Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) is launching its second information subscription service on the status and future prospects for generating and using hydrogen in alternative liquid automotive transportation fuels.

The new information service report, due out in late 2007, focuses on the potential for large-scale production of liquid automotive fuels and blend components, such as dimethyl ether and ethanol, from North American hydrogen-deficient carbon feed stocks during a transition to a future hydrogen fuel economy.

The report will examine the prospects for such fuels to become available in the United States within the next 20 years. Potential feed stocks consist of coal, heavy fossil hydrocarbons from oil shale and tar sands, and biomatter such as plant lignins.

Fuel production from these feed stocks would require heat and hydrogen that could be generated by new nuclear power plants that may be deployed in the United States. Other potential energy and hydrogen sources, such as new-generation coal gasification facilities, will also be discussed.

An earlier report from the first information service, issued in December 2006, focused on automotive-fuel hydrogen generation using nuclear reactors. "The availability of hydrogen from low-carbon emission processes may play a critical role in the U.S. reducing its dependence on foreign petroleum sources as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions," said Joe Redfield, manager of Advanced Vehicle Technology in SwRI's Engine, Emissions and Vehicle Research Division.

To prepare the report, SwRI subject matter experts will review publicly available technical literature to identify the synergies between hydrogen-deficient carbon feed stocks, heat sources and hydrogen production technologies. That information will be supplemented by insights and interpretations by SwRI experts to provide a concise source of information on the potential for alternative liquid automotive fuels in the United States over the next 20 years.

The report is a joint effort of SwRI's Geosciences and Engineering Division, the Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Division, the Fuels & Lubricants Research Division and the Engine, Emissions and Vehicle Research Division. Participation in the subscription service is available for a $50,000 fee.

For more information, contact Deb Schmid, +1 210 522 2254, Communications Department, Southwest Research Institute, PO Drawer 28510, San Antonio, TX 78228-0510.