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  • Ernie Diaz

Water on the Brain

"Clean" and "green" are hardly the top responses you're likely to get when playing word-association with "Sinopec". But the polluting petroleum powerhouse has just committed to developing hydrogen power as a systems-level solution: fuel cells, refueling stations, the works. 

For those of you filling plastic bags with 99 octane, hydrogen-powered fuel cells have many advantages over traditional electric car batteries. The drawbacks of up-front cost, stability, and reliance on natural gas have held it back from consideration as a viable alternative to the good ol' 400-volt. Until now, that is.

"Hydrogen tech for vehicles is moving surprisingly fast here in China," says Jimmie Jeremejev. "Sinopec is not so much a pioneer in the field as a giant looking to lock in early market share, now that true pioneers have proven the concept. For example, we are working with a pre-SPAC organization that has proven alternatives to LNG for production, and much cheaper costs for fuel cells than industry benchmarks. They've also got the data systems for cells, charging stations, and other components to interact. Frankly, fintech and other trendy investment areas pale in comparison to the potential of clean energy."

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