Research Activities: 2006


Show Me the Road to Hydrogen



Complete  View Report: PDF

Sequential Number


Identification Number


Matching Research Agency

Missouri Department of Transportation


Principal Investigator

John W. Sheffield, Professor Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
332-D Toomey Hall
Missouri University of Science & Technology
Rolla, MO 65409

Student Involvement

10+ graduate students.

Project Objective

In order to tackle the challenge of safe deployment of alternative fuels (including hydrogen), a broad research, training, and education agenda will be pursued to develop a rural hydrogen transportation test bed for developing, demonstrating, evaluating, and promoting hydrogen-based technologies in a real-world environment. The NUTC matching funds will be used to offset the cost of two hydrogen-fueled Ford E-450 shuttle buses to be used in the commuter bus service.


Project Abstract

The Missouri University of Science and Technology (MST) and Ford Motor Company will demonstrate a commuter bus service and hydrogen refueling at a station in rural Missouri near Ft. Leonard Wood. Initiated by a request from the U.S. Army Maneuver Support Center (MANSCEN) at Ft. Leonard Wood (FLW), MST is helping to establish a commuter service between FLW and the neighboring towns of Rolla and Lebanon each of which are located about 25 miles from the military base on Interstate-44. With funds provided by the Defense Logistics Agency through the Air Force Research Laboratory, this hydrogen initiative is seeking a partnership with an energy supplier to build and operate a hydrogen fueling facility that includes on-site generation of hydrogen through electrolysis as well as selling a range of other traditional and alternative fuels. 


Task Description



Anticipated Benefits

The research mission includes the following technical objectives:

  • Collect and evaluate real-world data to address safety and environmental issues, develop statistically validated codes and standards, formulate policies and regulations, and understand reliability and large-scale deployment of hydrogen technology under diverse operating conditions.
  • Modeling, simulation, and design optimization of composite hydrogen storage cylinders for safe installation and operation.
  • Develop, validate, and transition to a manufacturing environment, commercially ready, non-destructive testing technologies for hydrogen storage and transport systems.
  • Test, demonstrate, and validate hydrogen vehicles, hydrogen transportation infrastructure, and vehicle and infrastructure interfaces for complete system solutions.
  • Gain public acceptance to the use of an alternative energy source to power the transport system that is independent of the fossil fuel supplies.
  • On-site generation of hydrogen from ethanol or crude ethanol beer via novel supercritical water reformation process
  • Integrate research results into a comprehensive undergraduate and graduate curriculum to educate the future workforce on hydrogen technologies.
  • Develop and implement an outreach program, in collaboration with other national programs, which has a special emphasis on safety training for operators, maintainers, code officials, and first responders.

Modal Orientation



Project Start Date:6/24/2007
Project End Date:



Relationship to other Research/Projects


Technology Transfer Activities

see Anticipated Benefits

Transportation Research Board Keywords

Transportation, alternative fuels