As gas prices remain unpredictable and the care for the environment looms as an ever-present concern, a group of engineering students worked toward offering consumers a choice: to drive a car with gasoline only, ethanol or hydrogen.
The group used a vehicle designed to run on gasoline, which was adapted to run on ethanol by a group of students last year, and this spring semester adapted it again to run on hydrogen.
The hydrogen tank, mounted inside the rear of the vehicle, was wrapped in carbon fiber and controlled by a safety switch on the dashboard.
“We changed the engine of this donated vehicle. Sensors, injectors and a secondary fuel delivery system were all part of what our team did differently,” said team member Tyler Wolfford.
Team members included Justin McBath , Joe Branam, Dustin Jones, Tyler Wolfford, Jonathan Parrish, Nick Rader, Jonathan Blanco, Paul Miller and Ed Yates.
Due to limited storage of hydrogen in the small tank they used, the group could not conclude the efficiency of powering the vehicle with hydrogen compared to ethanol or gasoline. The students faced several challenges, including difficulty acquiring parts and the shipping of those parts.
“One company went out of business because of the economy,” Wolfford said.
For more information about this project, please visit the hydrogen vehicle student website.