Linde has entered into a three-year project to develop the world\\$quot;s first hydrogen-powered passenger boat.

The boat, which will operate on the Alster out of Hamburg, will carry over 100 people in normal tourist operations on the river.

Linde will be responsible for providing the hydrogen infrastructure for the ZEMSHIPS (Zero Emission Ships) projects, which will run from September 2006 until August 2009.

The company said: \\$quot;Hydrogen is to be stored in a 17,000-litre tank near the river, with deliveries made via trailer by Linde. After being compressed with an ionic compressor, the hydrogen will be evaporated before reaching the ship as a gas at 350 bar. The filling procedure will take an estimated 30 minutes for 50kg of hydrogen.\\$quot;

The project will showcase the potential for reduction of harmful emissions by replacement of fossil fuel boats with fuel cell systems. Linde estimates that the replacement of one passenger ship with the new ZEMSHIP will save approximately 72500kg of CO2 per year.

With nearly 1000 ships in Germany in the passenger sector alone, this technology clearly has the potential to have a significant impact on the county\\$quot;s CO2 emissions.