Nissan develops a fuel cell car with ethanol in Brazil with IPEN

Nissan develops a fuel cell car with ethanol in Brazil with IPEN

Nissan takes another step in its pioneering spirit in the world automobile industry in studies for the development of a vehicle powered by Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) that generates electricity from the use of bioethanol. The Japanese brand signed a new agreement with the Institute for Energy and Nuclear Research (IPEN) aimed at researching the use of bioethanol for models powered by Fuel Cells.

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The new partnership, which follows on from the first agreement signed in November 2019, was made official in a virtual ceremony by the president of Nissan Mercosur and general director of Nissan do Brasil, Airton Cousseau, and by the superintendent of IPEN, Wilson Calvo.

The objective of working together is to evaluate and make viable different components and make them suitable for use in possible projects on a commercial scale. One of the challenges, for example, is to study the possibility of integrating the reformer – an important part of the system – into the fuel cell itself. In addition, other studies are looking for solutions to reduce the size of the system. This partnership between Nissan and IPEN is part of the concept of Nissan Intelligent Mobility, the brand’s vision to transform the way cars are driven, driven and integrated into society.

Nissan develops a fuel cell car with ethanol in Brazil with IPEN

Nissan develops a fuel cell car with ethanol in Brazil with IPEN

“We continued to advance with research and this new agreement represents a new step in Nissan’s global Solid Oxide Fuel Cell project, which is also very interesting for Brazil, as it fits perfectly into our energy matrix. Due to the technical knowledge of Brazilian institutions, such as IPEN, local partnerships are essential to contribute to the brand’s global initiative”, says Airton Cousseau, president of Nissan Mercosul and general director of Nissan do Brasil.

The research and developments of the IPEN / CNEN in the area of ​​new renewable energies, led by the Center for Fuel and Hydrogen Cells, they are in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and with the Global Actions to reduce CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuels .

“This Innovation Agreement signed with Nissan is yet another demonstration of our excellence and our institutional commitment to society, promoting the transformation of scientific knowledge into products and services with added value to the market. IPEN/CNEN has innovation in its vision. In addition, it houses the São Paulo Technology-Based Business Incubator (USP/IPEN-CIETEC) which currently has 93 startups, consolidating an ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship”, says Wilson Calvo.

Nissan is the first company to develop and already test prototypes that are supplied with bioethanol to generate electrical energy to charge a Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC). The use of this type of system combined with the high efficiency of the electric motors and the battery system guarantee the Nissan SOFC an autonomy of over 600 km with only 30 liters of ethanol. As it has an extensive bioethanol supply network – and is one of the main producers in the world – Brazil has been a key player in the project’s development and feasibility studies.

The first test period with the real prototype of the system was carried out in Brazil between 2016 and 2017. Two e-NV200 vehicles equipped with the SOFC system were tested by Nissan do Brasil’s Research and Development team and demonstrated that the technology fits perfectly to daily use and to Brazilian fuel, even more so because the country has an already existing infrastructure to supply ethanol throughout its territory. Currently, the tests are in progress, conducted by Nissan’s Research and Development area in Japan, with constant collaboration from the Brazilian team and local partners, such as IPEN/CNEN.

“It is a pleasure to interact with Nissan’s research team and be able to collaborate with the global development of the brand. Electrifying ethanol, a renewable and strategic fuel for the country, has enormous potential in the context of new sustainable energies. Nissan has the vision that investing in research globally is a way to overcome the existing challenges to conquer new technologies. Seeing IPEN’s developments participating in this process is very gratifying, says Fabio Coral Fonseca, a researcher at IPEN/CNEN.

Nissan’s Solid Oxide Fuel Cell technology features a power generator system that uses the chemical reaction of oxygen ion with various fuels, including ethanol and natural gas, which are transformed into hydrogen in the cell, to generate electricity.

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The system is clean, highly efficient and runs 100% with ethanol or water mixed with ethanol. Its emissions are as clean as the atmosphere, being part of the natural carbon cycle and being absorbed during sugarcane plantations. In addition, the Fuel Cell-powered vehicle offers the strong acceleration and quiet drive of an electric vehicle, along with low maintenance costs.

Nissan’s global Solid Oxide Fuel Cell project is part of the brand’s ongoing commitment to the development of zero-emission vehicles and new automotive technologies, including autonomous driving systems and connectivity.

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Nissan develops a fuel cell car with ethanol in Brazil with IPEN

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