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Tests for safer tanking

April 25, 2002, 16:15 CEST

Tests started today, 25 April, of a method for safe tanking of methanol in fuel cell cars. The mechanism could become standard equipment if methanol is chosen as hydrogen bearer for such vehicles.

The Methanol Fuel Cell Alliance (MFCA), in which Statoil participates, is responsible for the test programme. The other collaborating companies are Ballard Power Systems, BASF, BP, DaimlerChrysler and Methanex.

"If we are to introduce methanol at our stations in the future, the pump system has to be safe," says Sjur Haugen, manager for business development in the methanol unit of Statoil's Manufacturing & Marketing business area. "This is first and foremost a health, safety and environment project, and it is in line with our commitments as a member of Responsible Care, where players in the chemicals industry take part."

The filling mechanism, which has been developed by the Swedish company, Identic, has been installed in a DaimlerChrysler Necar 5 car. The prototype is being tested in connection with California Fuel Cell Partnership’s demonstration programme for fuel cell cars in Sacramento, USA.

The new pump system will ensure that methanol does not leak out during filling, and it will be impossible to remove fuel from the tank.

California is a pioneering region for the use of technology which can help to reduce car pollution.