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Green Buses Powered By Hydrogen Engines Are Coming to Cambridge

Sat, 13th Oct 2001

Part of the show Skin Problems, Acne and Dermatology - Naked Scientists

Traffic fumes make city centres very unpleasant places for pedestrians and cyclists alike, but Cambridge is well on the way to tackling this problem - buses that give off water vapour instead of poisonous fumes are to be introduced to the streets of Cambridge over the next couple of years. The secret behind these new environmentally friendly buses is the hydrogen engine. The way it works is that hydrogen in fuel cells reacts with oxygen in the air to produce water. This chemical reaction releases energy that powers the bus. The hydrogen engine is much cleaner than the standard diesel engine which gives off carbon dioxide (a known cause of global warming) as well as nasty fumes. What makes this project greener still is that the hydrogen in the fuel cells comes from water in the first place - Solar power is used to split water up into hydrogen and oxygen. So you could say that the buses run on sunlight! The buses will run from West Cambridge to the city centre and should be in operation by 2003. This is the biggest project of its kind in the world. It's being organised by Cambridge University in partnership with several engineering firms and so far they've been awarded over 1.5 million pounds from the European Commission

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