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In this project Hydrolog, VIL will research the opportunities of the use of hydrogen for internal means of transport. The development of a business model in which several companies will be supplied by a mutual mobile hydrogen filling station, VIL aims to facilitate the transition to cost-efficient use of hydrogen. In the search for a sustainable energy source for transport, hydrogen is increasingly seen as an alternative for fossil fuels. The use of hydrogen mostly focusses on transport of public roads, rather than internal transport means, like fork lifts, straddle carriers, cranes, etc. The high costs and the limited amount of internal means of transport are two reasons many companies would not want to invest in hydrogen. The project Hydrolog takes a closer look at the possibilities of hydrogen for internal means of transport and the use of a mutual mobile hydrogen filling station, which would supply sevral companies. The mutual cost or a service model offers economies of scale and could reduce the costs for the participating companies. Hydrolog aims to make internal means of transport more sustainable by making hydrogen accessible as a clean fuel for internal means of transport. Hydrolog can reduce costs when applying economies of scale. Hydrolog can increase energy independence by combined local production and use.
Date:1 Jan 2020 →  1 Oct 2021
Keywords:Hydrogen, Sustainable, Zero emission
Disciplines:Transport economics
Project type:Collaboration project
Results:The demo's in the Hydrolog project which consisted in a test that lasted six weeks of a terminal tractor fueled with hydrogen from a mobile filling station on two different terminals in het port of Antwerp proofed  that hydrogen can be used in a safe and performant way as a zero emission fuel for heavy logistical equipment.
The VIL pilots have shown that it's perfectly possible to use hydrogen vehicles on a technically and opertionally basis. The technology, although many heavy duty equipment is still in a prototype fase, shows that it demands a certain kind of maturity and further implementation to avoid childhood deseases. 
It is certain that hydrogen is a zero-emission and low-noise alternative to diesel in logistics operations where battery-electric variants are less effective. Where power requirements exceed the implementation of existing battery technology, hydrogen is an option.
The price tag is still an obstacle today. In view of the cost price of the refueling infrastructure, the TCO for battery-electric forklift trucks is more advantageous. But when the personnel costs for reduced productivity due to battery changes and the expected price decrease for hydrogen are taken into account, the balance tilts in favor of hydrogen.
In the relatively short term, the greatest application possibilities lie in port environments. Hydrogen is already available there today, for example as feedstock for the petrochemical industry, and a lot of (green) hydrogen will become available in the future in view of the large-scale electrolysis projects (“hydrogen factories”) that are planned in the Flemish ports and future imports of hydrogen. or derivatives. That hydrogen will (partly) go to heavy duty transport (shipping, trucks, port logistics, trains, etc.) as a sustainable fuel.
The VIL project Hydrolog has shown that hydrogen is no longer a distant dream, but reality. Provided flexible legislation, the right government incentives, support from stakeholders and companies that are willing to act, hydrogen can soon break through as a zero-emission fuel.