Latin America regional coordinator, SciDev.Net
The researcher Paulo Emilio Valadão de Mirada from COPPE (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro) was at the Athlete Park proudly presenting his “baby”: a green bus.
The bus is a hybrid which means it uses electric energy from pre-connection to an electrical source (as other electric cars) and produces energy on board, from a battery fed by hydrogen. It also utilises kinetic energy every time the driver accelerates or decelerates the vehicle.
The bus has been used for transporting students around his university campus.
According to Paulo Emilio, this is the most efficient hydrogen bus in the world. “A European company tested a hydrogen bus in ten cities, which consumed 25 kilos of hydrogen for each 100 kilometers; this month, the same company launched an improved version, with 14 kilos of hydrogen consumed for each 100 kilometers” where as “our bus consumes just 5 kilos of hydrogen”, he says.
I asked Paulo Emilio what is necessary to put the bus on the streets. “A company interested in it”, he said, indicating that there are already some potential clients. His expectation is that the bus be available for the World Cup in Brazil, in 2014.
Coppe is inviting the public to know more about the high level research done at the institution he works for, with several projects related to Rio+20 issues: biofuel of second generation, production of electric energy with wave energy and protection of oceans.
This blog post is part of our coverage of Rio+20: United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. To read news and analysis on Science at Rio+20 please visit our website.