Freudenberg fuel cell filters support India’s first zero-emission bus

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Freudenberg Filtration Technologies is providing its micronAir filters to keep fuel cells running on India’s first zero-emission bus which runs on hydrogen.

Each bus will be equipped with closed FC F-513-N fuel cell filters ensuring that the buses keep running and reduce maintenance efforts.
Each bus will be equipped with closed FC F-513-N fuel cell filters ensuring that the buses keep running and reduce maintenance efforts. - Image: Freudenberg Filtration Technologies

Freudenberg client Sentient Labs designed and built the bus which relies on micronAir filters to keep the fuel cells running despite tough weather conditions and exposure to pollutants such as ammonia. Thanks to the hydrogen technology, the bus can run for up to 600 kilometres before needing to refuel.

Ashok Pandey, director Automotive, Pharma, Consumer Filter, at Freudenberg in India, said: "Sentient Labs reached out to us during the early stages of their project. Working closely together, we were able to supply them with the perfect match: a filter that protects the cells, especially from ammonia, but other pollutants such as small dust particles and hazardous gases as well.”

Each bus will be equipped with closed FC F-513-N fuel cell filters. They ensure that the buses keep running and reduce maintenance efforts. After presenting the first model to the public in December 2021, Sentient Labs is currently looking for clients to bring the bus to roads all over India on a large scale. They additionally plan to utilise the technology for marine applications.

To start the chemical reaction in a hydrogen fuel cell, a compressor takes in air from the outside. However, the air is often polluted, containing a mix of sulphur, hydrocarbons, and nitrogen oxides. These pollutants can affect the cell to varying degrees. Some might decrease performance temporarily. Others, such as fine dust, damage the cell permanently, rendering it less effective or decreasing its lifetime. Pandey said: “Especially in rural regions, outside air tends to contain high levels of ammonia in addition to other substances. The micronAir fuel cell filter that is now in use is specifically designed to protect cells from ammonia – making the bus the perfect choice for countryside routes.”