General Motors and Exxon Mobil Develop Gasoline Fuel Processor
General Motors Corp. (Detroit, MI) and Exxon Mobil Corp. (Fairfax, VA), working from an 1998 agreement to conduct research on hardware and fuel options for next-generation vehicles, announced that they have developed a highly efficient gasoline fuel processor for fuel cell vehicles that will be ready for demonstration within 18 months. The processor, which uses gasoline as a fuel to create a high-quality stream of hydrogen that powers a fuel cell, is a major breakthrough that will lead to greatly reduced emissions and improved fuel economy. For consumers, this means they will be able to fuel these new vehicles the same way they fuel their present cars. "The gasoline processor could be the bridge between today's conventional vehicles and tomorrow's hydrogen fuel cell vehicles," said GM Vice Chairman Harry J. Pearce. "While we view hydrogen as the future fuel for automotive applications, we have significant commercial challenges, such as designing and building a large number of hydrogen refueling stations, developing feasible on-board fuel tanks, and agreeing to industry-wide specifications."