David Ferris of E&E News recently talked with First Mode’s Chris Voorhees and Amber Baurley about the long and incredibly complex process of retrofitting one of the largest vehicles in the world to run on green hydrogen.
The feature story explains how First Mode is working with Anglo American to help the global mining giant become carbon neutral by 2040, and notes the recent “sea change” in mining as environment-social-governance (ESG) issues have come to the forefront of the industry.
Sometime soon, a strange contraption wrapped in colorful green and orange coils and weighing almost 24 metric tons will roll out of a Seattle industrial park, destined for a platinum mine in South Africa.
There it will meet its future host: a truck that is one of the planet’s largest land vehicles.
The Komatsu 930E is three stories tall and made in Peoria, Ill., at a cost of $5 million each. These “ultra class” vehicles, as they’re known, are the Clydesdales of open-pit mines, hauling almost 300 tons of rock from the dusty depths of the pit to the lip for crushing and processing. The diesel-electric hybrid can burn almost 800 gallons of diesel a day.
But this particular truck, after its transplant, will never again burn diesel. Its engine will be removed and swapped out for this new device coming from Seattle — a fuel-cell power plant that runs on hydrogen.
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