Brazil Brazil

IPHE Country Update: April 2017

Name: Prof. Paulo Emílio Valadão de Miranda
Contact Information:
Covered Period: June 2016 – April 2017

New Policy Initiatives on Hydrogen and Fuel Cell (Read more)

Reduction of annual state tax “IPVA” due to electric vehicle ownership in seven Brazilian states (Rio Grande do Sul, Sergipe, Pernambuco, Rio Grande do Norte, Ceara, Piaui and Maranhao). Depending on the State of Brazil as well as the size and specific application of the vehicle, this tax varies between 0.5% and 4% of the acquisition price of it.

São Paulo City Hall has established by regulations that each purchaser of an electric vehicle (BEV, FCEV or HEV) shall be reimbursed during the first 5 years of car ownership by the portion of the state tax "IPVA" that otherwise would be distributed back to the City Hall (40%). Moreover, all electric vehicles have been exempted from the weekday driving restriction inside the expanded downtown border. São Paulo is the largest Brazilian city with estimated 12 million inhabitants and 8 million vehicles in 2016.

The National Bank for Social and Economic Development (BNDES) determined better financing conditions for the purchase of hybrid and electric buses, with lower interest rates and longer financing term. BNDES is one of the largest development banks in the world and the most important for the long-term financing and investment in the Brazilian economy.

Hydrogen and Fuel Cell R&D Update (Read more)   

Itaipu Technological Park Foundation (FPTI) has been investigating the use of hydrogen as an energy carrier that can be produced by water electrolysis in periods when the power demand decreases. Nowadays, in this case the hydropower plant delivers water to the spillways, wasting energy. Research on hydrogen as an energy vector has increased at FPTI with the installation of a Hydrogen Production Plant in 2014. The Nucleus of Research on Hydrogen (NUPHI) has studied the life cycle of hydrogen, the feasibility of its production from hydropower and its use on fuel cells for electric vehicles and auxiliary energy systems. In 2016, the production system was disassembled to study the internal parts, mainly the water electrolyser and its control monitoring system. This has generated much knowledge about the components of the hydrogen production system, allowing the formation of qualified human resources. Since 2016, technical-scientific partnerships have been intensified with the Federal University of Paraná, Federal University of Latin American Integration and the Federal University of São Carlos. NUPHI's research has generated three scientific articles published in national and international journals. With the acquired knowledge, new proposals of research and development projects about energy storage were submitted to the Brazilian power generation company Eletronorte and to other companies.

Petrobras has a long experience on hydrogen production by steam reforming. Presently, efforts are being made to further reduce the hydrogen production cost. New products are being developed in partnership with suppliers based on monitoring and simulation of catalysts performance. There are ongoing projects on processes and catalysts to produce hydrogen from ethanol and/or heavy oil as alternative raw materials to natural gas.

The National Institute of Technology (INT) has been developing a project funded by FINEP to build two fuel processors using ethanol or natural gas for hydrogen production. The fuel processors will produce hydrogen to feed a 1 kW PEM fuel cell using catalysts developed by the Hydrogen Production Network Project, part of the ProH2 Program of the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovations and Communications (MCTIC). The demonstration units will start operation by August, 2017.

The creation of the National Institute of Science and Technology (INCT) on Hydrogen and Fuel Cell for generation of renewable energy was approved by the Brazilian Government. It is formed by 13 institutions spread all around the country, and its main objective is to promote integrated actions and cooperation in the fields of Science, Technology and Innovation to develop national technology in energy systems based on fuel cells, aiming at efficient and low environmental impact power generation. The integrated action should involve: (i) fundamental and technological research; (ii) demonstrative technological projects; (iii) development of materials and prototypes (pre-commercial stage); (iv) formation of human resources. The institute will focus on application of fuel cell systems for distributed power generation, in isolated systems, prioritizing PEM and SOFC fuel cells types.

The Energy and Nuclear Research Institute (IPEN) obtained three patents in 2016, all related to the production of catalysts and electrocatalysts used respectively in the steam reforming process and in fuel cells.

The recently created Research Center for Gas Innovation – RCGI is the result of a partnership between Shell and Fapesp. The center is based at the University of São Paulo (USP) and aims to support high-level scientific research for the development of the energy sector. Hydrogen related research has a prominent role in the center. As included in its institutional description, RCGI will offer “innovative solutions to the technological problems related to natural gas, biogas, hydrogen and carbon dioxide emissions as well as providing support for the improvement of energy policies in the State of São Paulo, in Brazil and worldwide. In particular, it intends to increase the competitiveness of the industry of São Paulo and inform society of the enormous economic potential in the use of natural gas, biogas and hydrogen as sources of energy in the years to come”. The institution has set up an excellent structure to receive research and innovation funding in the hydrogen area. For more information:

The Hydrogen Laboratory at COPPE/UFRJ finished in February, 2017 a four-year project co-financed by BNDES and the enterprises Oxiteno S.A. and Energiah Ltda. for the development of innovative solid oxide fuel cells. Specialty anodes allowed the direct utilization of carbonaceous fuels; in one case of ethanol for distributed generation of electricity and in the other case of methane for the electrochemical synthesis of C2 type hydrocarbons. The project has produced several patents, two of them already approved: US 9,281,525 B2 – US 9,431,663 B2.

The National Regulatory Agency for Electrical Energy (ANEEL) launched a call for projects under the R&D Program of the electric companies, regulated by the agency, for the development of energy storage systems (Call 21/2016). More than 100 companies were interested, and 29 proposals were submitted. In March 28th, the agency approved 23 of these proposals, and at least 2 of them use hydrogen as the base technology for the energy storage system. The projects will last until May 2021.

Demonstration and Deployments Update (Read more)

On April 5th, the project “Electric Traction Buses” closed its activities in an event held in Rio de Janeiro, RJ. The project was developed under a partnership between Furnas Centrais Elétricas and the Post-graduation and Engineering Research Institute Alberto Luiz Coimbra (COPPE), from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), through its Hydrogen Laboratory. It developed three prototypes of plug-in type electric traction buses, one electric, one hybrid electric-ethanol, and a hybrid electric-hydrogen one. More information on the latter is available at “Brazilian hybrid electric-hydrogen fuel cell bus: Improved on-board energy management system”, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, A hydrogen refuelling station is presently under construction at UFRJ. The partnership has another ongoing project for the development of two ships with hybrid electric propulsion similar to the technologies developed for the hybrid buses.

The project “Hydrogen Fuel Cell Buses for Urban Transport in Brazil” was successfully concluded in 2016 with three HFC buses and one hydrogen production and refueling station. The state of the art design of these three buses was preceded by the development and test of a prototype bus, in 2010.The new buses are low-entry buses, with two doors in each side, capacity for 75 passengers,12.6 m length and 14.1 ton weigh. They are equipped with a 150 kW fuel cell and 105 kW ion-Li technology batteries. The station was designed to refuel four buses daily, producing 6.0 kg H2 per hour. During the tests, including operation in real conditions with passengers, the three buses ran a total of 12,000 km and presented an average hydrogen consumption of 13.7 kg / 100 km. The Brazil FCB project was developed under the fuel cell bus commercialization support program established by the UNDP and GEF, respectively the executing agency and main financial agency, and co-financed by the Brazilian Government, through FINEP. It also received contributions from a strong consortium of private companies, consisting of AES Eletropaulo, Ballard Power Systems, EPRI, Hydrogenics, Marcopolo, Nucellsys, Petrobras Distribuidora and Tuttotrasporti. The project was directed by the Brazilian Ministry of Mines and Energy and implemented by São Paulo Urban Transportation Metropolitan Enterprise (EMTU/SP).

Events and Solicitations (Read more)

On April 5th, an event occurring in Rio de Janeiro/RJ marked the foundation of the Brazilian Hydrogen Association (ABH). The new entity aims to bring together research institutions, companies and specialists interested in the research, technological development and innovation of themes related to the hydrogen industry. ABH will be part of the International Association for Hydrogen Energy (IAHE) and will support the organization of the 22nd World Hydrogen Energy Conference – WHEC 2018, which will be held in Rio de Janeiro/Brazil.

WHEC 2018 will occur in Rio de Janeiro, hosted by the Post-graduation and Engineering Research Institute Alberto Luiz Coimbra (COPPE), at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) from June 17 – 22, 2018

Investments: Government and Collaborative Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Funding (Read more)  


Regulations, Codes & Standards Update (


Data Table (





Ministry of Mines and Energy
Ministry of Science and Technology

Member Statements

Member Statements (Read more) - Last updated May 2016

Canada is recognized internationally as a global leader in hydrogen and fuel cell research, development and early stage commercialization.  Canada is a large producer and user of hydrogen and home to a significant concentration of hydrogen fuel cell expertise.  Canada’s industry is diverse and is representative of all elements within the supply chain from hydrogen manufacturing to fuel cell integrators.

Largely consisting of small and medium sized enterprises and research organizations across the country, the sector is supported by a well-educated labour force with advanced skills – key ingredients in building Canada’s knowledge economy.  Canadian companies have established a competitive global position resulting from years of research, development and demonstration activities.  The largest cluster of hydrogen and fuel cell companies in Canada is located in British Columbia.  Other clusters are located in Ontario, Quebec and Alberta.

Canada’s program targets four areas area sustainable hydrogen production, hydrogen storage, fuel cells and safety, codes and standards.  

Hydrogen Production

Hydrogen’s value as an energy carrier stems from the wide base of primary energy sources which can be employed to produce it. These include both renewable sources such as hydro, wind, solar and biomass, and non-renewable sources such as natural gas, coal and nuclear energy.     

Historically, Canada’s main thrust of past investments has been in hydrogen production via water electrolysis with special emphasis on systems for hydrogen production from wind. A considerable amount of R&D was carried out to address hydrogen production from low-value materials such as hydrogen sulphide and from coal or petroleum coke via the steam/iron process (a technology for centralized hydrogen production allowing easier carbon capture).  Smaller program elements included purification and separation. Activities have steered away from technologies which are being developed extensively in other countries and for which there was not a unique Canadian capability.  Recently, and going forward, Canada’s activities have focussed almost exclusively on electrolytic hydrogen production using PEM technology.

Hydrogen Storage

Hydrogen storage is a key enabling technology for the deployment of fuel cell technologies in stationary, portable, and transportation applications.  The challenge for most end-uses is reversible, lower cost hydrogen storage systems with high volumetric and gravimetric hydrogen storage capacities. For transportation, the overarching technical challenge for hydrogen storage is how to store hydrogen on-board to meet performance (weight, volume, kinetics, etc.) safety and cost requirements and enable 300 +mile range, without compromising passenger/cargo space. Durability over the performance lifetime of these systems must also be verified and validated, and acceptable refueling times must be achieved.

Canada’s past investments have been in development of compressed, liquid and solid-state hydrogen storage systems.

Fuel Cells

Canada has been developing fuel cell technologies for transportation, stationary, and portable applications for over 30 years.  For transportation, stationary power generation (e.g., energy systems, back-up power), and portable devices, the focus is on proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. For larger-scale energy generation, the focus is on the solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC), which can, in some cases, directly use natural gas or other hydrocarbons as fuels. 

Codes, Standards and Safety

The successful global commercialization of hydrogen and fuel cells depends on internationally accepted codes and standards. These will help to increase the experience, knowledge and confidence of local, regional, and national officials in the use of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies, and facilitate the development of regulations. R&D supports the development of performance-based, rather than product-specific, codes and standards. 

International collaboration in this area is essential.  Canada has played a leading role as chair of the ISO Technical Committee 197 (Hydrogen Technologies) and as a strong contributor to the IEA Hydrogen Implementing Agreement Task 19. Task 19 participants have been working to identify the physical properties of hydrogen which impact the issue of safety. 

Canada has also developed the Canadian Hydrogen Installation Code.   Published by the Bureau de normalisation du Québec (BNQ) as a National Standard of Canada, the Canadian Hydrogen Installation Code (CHIC) [CAN/BNQ 1784-000] will help pave the way for a greater use of hydrogen as an energy carrier by guiding safe design and facilitating the approval process of hydrogen installations across Canada.

The following are examples of significant accomplishments that are helping to build Canada’s hydrogen and fuel cell industry. Demonstration projects in Canada and other IPHE partner countries are featured on Canada's Demonstration & Deployment page.

Canadian Fuel Cell Commercialization Roadmap

In 2003, Canada released its first commercialization roadmap. The roadmap was aimed at accelerating full-scale commercialization of Canadian hydrogen and fuel cell technologies to capture benefits from substantial industrial investments in research and development and to develop long-term solutions to meet Canada’s climate change goals. In 2008, Canada updated the Canadian Fuel Cell Commercialization Roadmap. The update begins by outlining why hydrogen and fuel cells are considered an essential part of the future low carbon energy systems for transportation and stationary power as well as an energy innovation in portable electronics. It continues by providing an overview of global hydrogen and fuel cell markets as background and context for the activities of the Canadian industry.

Hydrogen Village

The Hydrogen Village in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) was a public/private partnership demonstrating and deploying various hydrogen production and delivery techniques as well as fuel cells for stationary, transportation (mobile) and portable applications. The program, was funded by Hydrogen Village Members, Natural Resources Canada and the Government of Ontario, was in operation from April 2004 to March 2008.

Vancouver Fuel Cell Vehicle Program

car imagehe Vancouver Fuel Cell Vehicle Program was a collaborative five-year vehicle deployment and evaluation activity involving the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association, Ford Motor Company USA, Ford Motor Company of Canada, the Province of British Columbia and the Government of Canada. The program, for the first time, put limited production fuel-cell-powered electric drive vehicles into the hands of selected Canadian users for independent operation and evaluation under real-world conditions. Located in the British Columbia’s Lower Mainland, the vehicle demonstration program began in April 2005 and sunset in March 2010. Vehicle users included Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation, Ballard Power Systems, BC Hydro, BC Transit, Brown Bros. Ford, Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association, City of Vancouver, City of Surrey and Powertech Labs.

Hydrogen Highway

The British Columbia Hydrogen Highway (HH) was launched in March 2004 as a large-scale, coordinated demonstration and deployment program for mobile, stationary, portable, and micro hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. Projects under the HH umbrella included: the Integrated Waste Hydrogen Utilization Project located in North Vancouver; BC Transit operated hydrogen fuelling station in Victoria; Powertech Labs station in Surrey; Pacific Spirit Station in Vancouver; and, the Whistler station to support the 20 hydrogen fuel cell buses that were operated by BC Transit during the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games until the end of March, 2014.

The HH received one of the first "Sustainability Stars" recognizing sustainability innovations in economic, social and environmental initiatives awarded by the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympics Winter Games.

Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Gateway

In early 2008, a technology demonstration and exhibit centre showcasing Canada's world-leading hydrogen and fuel cell industry was officially opened. The Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Gateway was located at the National Research Council (NRC) Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation in Vancouver, and was conceived through a public-private partnership between the NRC, Natural Resources Canada, Industry Canada, the Government of British Columbia and the Canadian Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Association. 

2010 Olympics – First Bus Delivered as part of World’s Largest Development of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Buses

The first of 20 buses were delivered and successfully tested as part of the world largest hybrid electric fuel cell bus fleet. The bus was part of BC Transit’s project to demonstrate sustainable transportation technologies for the 2010 Olympics in Whistler, B.C. The twenty new hybrid electric fuel cell buses and two Hydrogen Highway fuelling stations were put into service in 2010 at Whistler, Vancouver and Victoria. The low-floor buses capabilities include of 500 km, a top speed of 90 km/h and a life expectancy of 20 years. They were the sixth generation of a fuel cell buses developed in Canada. Several Canadian companies were involved in this project such as Ballard Power Systems, Dynetek Industries, Hydrogenics Corporation, New Flyer Industries, Questair Technologies, Air Liquide Canada, and Sacre-Davey Engineering.

National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Research Directory

The Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Research Directory is a free public on-line database of information on researchers and facilities in Canada. The purpose of the Research Directory is to increase the visibility, researcher collaboration and use of Canadian research and laboratory services in hydrogen and fuel cell technology.   See:

Establishment of AFCC Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation Corporation

AFCC Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation Corporation (AFCC) is a private Vancouver-based automotive fuel cell technology company founded in 2008 and owned 50.1% by Daimler AG and 49.9% by Ford.  AFCC was created to focus on fuel cell research, development and design specifically for automotive applications. AFCC is working closely with Daimler and Ford to advance automotive fuel cell technology.

Establishment of the Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell Manufacturing Facility

In 2011, Daimler announced that Vancouver, Canada had been selected at the location of choice for the establishment of an automated fuel cell stack (engine) manufacturing facility which was named Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell (MBFC).   MBFC was opened in June 2012 and it’s mandate is to determine how to manufacture FC stacks, on an industrial scale, at an affordable price.



Canada has been involved in the development of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies for over three decades.  Canada is well positioned to be a leading developer and adopter of these technologies for two main reasons.  Firstly, Canada is the largest per capita producer of hydrogen in the OECD, producing approximately 3 million tonnes annually.  Secondly, Canada is a world leader in the development of fuel cell technologies and hydrogen infrastructure systems.  

Over the past several years, Canadian governments, industry and academia have worked together to demonstrate a number of Canadian hydrogen and fuel cell technologies.  Such as:

The Hydrogen Highway and the Vancouver Fuel Cell Vehicle Programs - in the province of British Columbia (BC)

These initiatives involved the development of a network of hydrogen fueling stations, a number of FC vehicles, hydrogen powered internal combustion engine trucks, FC buses and also showcased several stationary, portable and micro fuel cell applications throughout British Columbia’s south western region.

BC Transit Fuel Cell Buses - in the province of BC

Hydrogen fuel cell buses produce no harmful emissions or greenhouse gases. At maturity, life cycle costs for fuel cell buses are expected to be lower than today's conventional buses. The purchase of these fuel cell buses and hydrogen fuel reinforced BC's commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Results from past tests of fuel-cell-powered transit buses are valuable, but the tests were restricted to small numbers of buses at any particular location. BC Transit was be the first to fully integrate an entire hydrogen fuel cell bus fleet into a transit system and their usage provided valuable information and data to the industry.

Hydrogen Villiage in the province of Ontario (ON)

The goal of Hydrogen Village was to raise awareness and break down barriers to markets for hydrogen, fuel cell, and other relevant technologies within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

PEI Wind-Hydrogen Village – in the province of Prince Edward Island (PEI)

The PEI Wind-Hydrogen Village project was being developed in North Cape, Prince Edward Island as a unique grid-independent energy supply solution for remote communities.  The system is designed to operate on the basis that when the wind is blowing, wind turbines supply power to connected buildings as well as a hydrogen production, compression and storage system.  When there is low or no wind conditions, the stored hydrogen is used to fuel a hydrogen engine generator that keeps electricity flowing to the buildings.  The PEI Wind-Hydrogen Village was intended to demonstrate an effective and sustainable means for addressing the intermittency of wind power in stand-alone applications.  Hydrogen produced from local wind and water is a truly clean and renewable energy carrier with potential for reducing dependency on imported fossil fuels for stationary power and transportation applications.


Total of 16 hydrogen filling stations

Station Capacity Dispensing Pressure Production Method
North Vancouver, British Columbia (Northlands Station)
Storage at 45MPa: 250kg
35 MPa
Waste Hydrogen
Port Coquitlam, British Columbia (Translink)
Storage at 45MPa: 120kg
35 MPa
Waste Hydrogen
Surrey, British Columbia (Powertech Labs)
Storage at
45MPa: 60kg
Storage at 85MPa: 60kg
35/70 MPa
On-site Electrolysis (24kg/d)
Surrey, British Columbia (70 MPa mobile trailer)
Storage at 85MPa: 60kg
70 MPa
Surrey, British Columbia (25 MPa mobile trailer)
Storage at 25MPa: 80kg
25 MPa
Vancouver, British Columbia (Pacific Spirit Station)
Storage at 45MPa: 67kg
35 MPa
Waste Hydrogen
Victoria, British Columbia)
Storage: 40kg
35 MPa
Waste Hydrogen
Whistler, British Columbia (2009)
Liquid Storage: 5500kg
35 MPa
Waste Hydrogen
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Storage at 45MPa: 24kg
35 MPa
Waste Hydrogen
Ottawa, Ontario (Natural Resources Canada)
Storage at 45MPa: 60kg
35 MPa
Oshawa, Ontario (General Motors)
Storage at 45MPa: 60kg
35 MPa
Toronto, Ontario (Purolator)
35 MPa
On-site Electrolysis
Toronto, Ontario (North Toronto Station)
Storage: 140kg
17 MPa
Toronto, Ontario (Exhibition Place)
35 MPa
On-site Electrolysis
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Storage at 45Mpa: 30kg
35 MPa
Wind-powered Electrolysis
North Cape, Prince Edward Island (2009)
Storage at 45MPa: 15kg
35 MPa
Wind-powered Electrolysis



  • 5 fuel cell vehicles in Vancouver and Victoria
  • 4 dual-fuel pick-up trucks (ICE) in Saskatoon
  • 8 hydrogen internal combustion engine ICE pick-up trucks in Vancouver

Hydrogen Buses

  • 20 fuel cell buses in Whistler (2009)
  • 10 hydrogen internal combustion shuttle buses: Ottawa, 3; Vancouver, 2; Toronto, 3; and Charlottetown, 2
  • 4 hydrogen/compressed natural gas (20% hydrogen by volume) transit buses in Vancouver


  • 5-kW solid oxide fuel cell at the National Research Council in Vancouver; designed to provide electricity and heat for the institute's building
  • 150-kW PEM stationary fuel cell for heat and power at Easy Wash car wash in North Vancouver
  • 20-kW fuel cell backup power system located in an office in an 80 year old building in downtown Toronto
  • 200-kW phosphoric acid fuel cell located at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in Edmonton, Alberta; providing heat and power for a swimming pool complex and used as a teaching tool
  • 1.2-MW molten carbonate fuel cell located at Enbridge in Toronto (In addition to the fuel cell, the power plant includes a 1.0-MW unfired gas expansion turbine (turbo-expander) that recovers pressure energy lost during natural gas pipeline operations.)
  • 8-kW fuel cell backup power system located at McKesson, Canada in Toronto


  • 19 fuel cell forklifts in Oshawa