Team FAST, a student team from the Technical University Eindhoven, has developed a generator for construction sites that produces electricity from sustainably produced formic acid. Using this generator, a pilot project will be initiated for the construction of the N211, in cooperation with construction company BAM Infra and the Province of South-Holland.
The students of Team FAST have been working for a number of years on the application of hydrozine as an energy carrier, which consists of 99% of sustainably produced formic acid. Hydrozine is separated into hydrogen and CO2, where the hydrogen is used to generate electricity. The CO2 that is released is used again to make more hydrozine, so the fuel is CO2 neutral.
Quiet and CO2 neutral
While the team initially focussed on the use of hydrozine for transportation applications – work was also done on a bus that runs on this fuel – the team thinks that hydrozine can also be useful in other applications, such as the construction sector. Hydrozine is an attractive option at locations where, normally speaking, there is no electricity available, such as on construction sites. The fuel can be easily transported in tankers and has a large energy density. Compared to diesel generators, there is no production of nitrous oxides and no net CO2. Additionally the generator makes very little noise.
Meanwhile, the team has prepared a prototype version of the generator, which will be operated for a period of two weeks in a practical trial on the construction site where construction company BAM Infra is working on the N211. The team will supply part of the required electricity using hydrozine. The N211, which is being developed in cooperation with the Province of South-Holland, should be the first CO2-negative road, thanks to various sustainability initiatives that have been included in the project.