I know, I know, we don’t normally cover stories about mining trucks, however, this one is pretty cool.
Over in South Africa, a new mine truck prototype has just gone to work for the giant Anglo American mining company.
The truck can haul up to a whopping 290 tonnes of ore.
That’s pretty impressive, true. But what if we told you this truck didn’t have a massive diesel engine providing the horsepower?
Instead of diesel, this truck is powered by hydrogen, so what comes out of the exhaust is only water vapor.
It uses 2-megawatt hydrogen fuel cells that give a total output of 2MW of power (that’s 2000kW), a powertrain developed in-house by the mining giant.
They call their hydrogen technology, nuGen and if it proves to be reliable in the giant hauler, more units will also come online with the same powertrain.
It’s all part of the mining giant’s push to be carbon neutral by 2040.
It will use solar power to provide the fuel, using the energy to split water into its component atoms of hydrogen and oxygen.
The Chief Executive of Anglo American, Duncan Wanblad, tells us the company plans to potentially convert or replace its current fleet of diesel-powered trucks with hydrogen technology in the coming years.
“nuGen is a tangible demonstration of our FutureSmart Mining program changing the future of our industry.”
“With diesel emissions from our haul truck fleet accounting for c.10-15% of our total Scope 1 emissions, this is an important step on our pathway to carbon-neutral operations by 2040.
“The mining industry is playing a considerable role in helping the world decarbonize, both through our own emissions footprint and the metals and minerals that we produce that is critical to low carbon energy and transport systems.”
If hydrogen can prove its worth in that environment, maybe it has a real future in the road transport industry?