Amazon begins to produce own hydrogen fuel to power vehicles

E-commerce giant Amazon has unveiled ambitious plans to manufacture its own hydrogen fuel, marking a significant step toward greening its logistics operations. Teaming up with hydrogen company Plug Power, Amazon is set to kickstart this initiative by installing its inaugural proton exchange membrane electrolyser at a fulfillment center in Colorado, USA.

The one-megawatt electrolyser, a collaboration between Amazon and Plug Power, signifies a crucial move in Amazon’s commitment to decarbonize its operations by 2040, aligning with The Climate Pledge. The technology involves splitting water molecules to produce low-carbon hydrogen, specifically designed to power over 225 hydrogen fuel cell-equipped forklift trucks at the chosen facility.

Asad Jafry, Amazon’s Director of Global Hydrogen Economy, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership with Plug Power, emphasizing the pivotal role hydrogen plays in achieving their sustainability goals. He highlighted the efficiency gains of on-site hydrogen production, particularly for specific locations and facility types.

Plug Power’s one-megawatt electrolyser operates by utilizing electricity and water to generate hydrogen, capable of supporting up to 400 hydrogen fuel cell-powered forklift trucks. The hydrogen produced undergoes compression on-site before being stored in a gaseous hydrogen storage tank, ready for use by the fleet of forklift trucks.

Plug CEO Andy Marsh emphasized the collaborative nature of the venture with Amazon, illustrating how the project showcases Plug’s comprehensive capabilities across the hydrogen value chain. This initiative builds on their successful collaboration, where Plug has already replaced batteries with more than 17,000 fuel cells in Amazon’s forklifts across 80 fulfillment centers in North America.

Traditionally, hydrogen for these locations was produced externally, liquefied, and transported by trucks to on-site storage and dispensing systems. Amazon’s move to internal production signals a strategic shift toward greater energy efficiency in its logistics network and reinforces its dedication to environmentally sustainable practices. 

(With input from IANS)

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