Carlo Kloosterman shows where the hydrogen enters the tractor. (Photo: Britta Janssen)
CHAPEL – The technology with hydrogen as fuel is still in its infancy. “We all need to do something about sustainability,” says Carlo Kloosterman. That is why the first hydrogen tractor in Zealand drives around the construction, rental and transport company Kloosterman in Kapelle.
Because the Kloosterman company wants to help reduce CO2 emissions, Carlo Kloosterman, who owns the company together with cousin Jan-Kees Kloosterman, has been researching for a long time how this could be done. “My cousin is in technology, and together we come up with the ideas.” They have already realized that switching to electrical energy is not a total solution for their business. “Our machines often work on the ground, and you cannot install an electric charging station on every piece of ground. Electrification will prevail, for example when driving a car, but there is not enough space on the electricity grid to connect everything to it. Then three more high-voltage lines were to be built, «Kloosterman thinks, pointing to the new high-voltage masts that are being built near the company.
The restrictions on electrification and the future ban on the use of diesel as fuel led Kloosterman on the trail of hydrogen. “40 percent of our cost price consists of fuel, and we use about a million gallons of diesel a year,” Kloosterman explains. This made it interesting to find out how the company can become more sustainable while reducing this cost item. The latter, however, will take some time. For example, a kilo of hydrogen – a subsidy for this is currently being developed – currently costs twelve to fourteen euros and a refueling takes 35 minutes, while it is five minutes for diesel. “We are pioneering this hydrogen tractor. We have not yet found a revenue model, but we often come up with new applications and if you are at the forefront of something, new opportunities always arise.” For example, if Kloosterman wants to win a tender for a new job, they will soon benefit from their commitment to sustainability. “Our hydrogen tractor is the first in Zealand and the twelfth in the Netherlands. This new tractor has been converted into a hydrogen tractor by the company “Scholman in Nieuwegein. They are also pioneers.” The new addition is still partly running on diesel, says Kloosterman, because the hydrogen engine is still in the test phase. “If we now fill one hundred percent hydrogen, the engine will get too hot and break down. Therefore, it now contains seventy percent hydrogen and thirty percent diesel,” explains Kloosterman, who has taken a course on hydrogen.
The hydrogen is now being delivered from Arnhem to Eversdijkse Bredeweg. The experiment examines how it can be made available closer to home. There are plans for a hydrogen factory in the Sloe area, and Kloosterman approached his fuel supplier, Agri Sneltank from the agricultural cooperative CZAV in Wemeldinge, if they could offer hydrogen in the future. They have discussed this at the beginning of this year and are investigating the possibilities, also in collaboration with Kapelle municipality. For example, they need to issue new permits to enable the use of this alternative fuel. ‘This initiative helps to make the mobility and agricultural sector more sustainable, sectors that are important in our municipality’, Kapelle writes in a press release. That is why Kapelle is happy to participate in this exploration. »This is also a new area for the municipality, but we facilitate this search where possible. It would be great if we could soon develop a hydrogen chain that would benefit the whole region. ‘
CZAV is already doing a lot in electrification, says CZAV CEO Roel Clement. “We have a huge following, including agricultural companies, for which electrification alone is not the way to the energy transition. It is likely that hydrogen may be part of the solution.” That is why the cooperative is investigating, among other things, the possibilities for selling and distributing hydrogen. “Should we start producing it ourselves? Will there be an underground hydrogen network? These are all issues that we will address. “The three parties are examining the feasibility of the entire hydrogen chain, from suppliers through distribution to customers.” I hope our entire fleet will run on hydrogen by 2040, “says Kloosterman.