The hydrogen-enriched compressed natural gas (HCNG) will be used to run 50 buses in Delhi starting October 20, 2020. A four-tonne per day compact reformer-based HCNG production plant will be inaugurated to supply HCNG to these buses. Under a pilot project, the buses will run from the Rajghat-1 bus depot for six months and their efficiency and emissions will be recorded for submission to the Supreme Court. The plant was expected to start operations from March 2020, however, the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic led to the delay.
In 2019, the Supreme Court had suggested to consider hydrogen-run vehicles as a solution for air pollution in the capital city. Earlier in 2018, Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) and Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL) had collaborated to set up the first semi-commercial plant as a pilot project to conduct the study on the use of HCNG fuel in 50 BS IV compliant CNG-run buses in Delhi after a directive by the apex court.
The foundation stone of the plant was laid by IOCL and IGL in July 2019. The technology to create HCNG has been developed by IOCL, which uses a compact reforming process that is 30 per cent more cost effective. The present CNG-run buses can be easily tuned to run on HCNG, as per IOCL.