Costa Rica Teams with Former Astronaut to Research Hydrogen Fuel Alternatives

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    The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – The authorities in Costa Rica and the Ad Astra Rocket Company, owned by former Costa Rican astronaut Franklin Chang, have signed an agreement to continue the development of a hydrogen production plant that aims in the future to generate alternative fuels.

    Chang and president of Costa Rican Oil Refinery (Recope), Litleton Bolton, signed an agreement for $4,000,000 for the project that “explores the operational feasibility of a hydrogen-based infrastructure,” said the parties in a statement.

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    This project began in 2010 and late last year a small hydrogen plant was inaugurated in Costa Rican Ad Astra Rocket headquarters in the city of Liberia, in the northwest province of Guanacaste (North Pacific).

    The agreement signed today aims to initiate a third phase to complete the conceptual design of a service station based on hydrogen and to be able to operate it simultaneously with electric vehicles or fuel cell batteries.

    This phase also includes an assessment of the environmental and economic impact of the systems, which will be supported by the experience with the current renewable energy plant, which is expected to be ready in August.

    “This is an important next step to explore the feasibility of a hydrogen-based ecosystem for Costa Rica and the region. We are proud to continue contributing to the history of innovation and success already achieved by this alliance,” said Franklin Chang.

    The plant, located in the city of Liberia, produces high purity hydrogen through water electrolysis.

    The hydrogen is stored in five tanks, capable of containing a kilogram of hydrogen each. Each of these tanks could provide enough fuel for 100 kilometers of autonomy in a fuel cell vehicle.

    In the future, the project will research other storage technologies.

    This is just one of several projects led by Chang in alternative energy through his Ad Astra Rocket Company, which also has an office in Houston, United States.

    Chang’s main project is the development of a plasma engine that shortens the time of space travel, which will enable humans to go to Mars. (ACAN-EFE)

    The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

    San Jose, Costa Rica

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