Newswise — The Appalachian State University Energy Center will co-host the Fourth International Hydrail Conference June 9 in Valencia, Spain.

The conference, also hosted by NTDA Energia, will showcase projects applying hydrogen and fuel cell technology to railways and examine scenarios for integrating these technologies into existing transport systems and other factors related to the energy supplies of railways. In its fourth year, the conference will help provide a vision for the implementation of hydrogen-powered railways and a medium- to long-term strategic plan for the global deployment of this technology.

This year's conference will feature speakers from across the globe, including Canada, United States, Korea, Spain, India, United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Austria, Denmark and other locales.

For more information about attending the conference, or to learn more about hydrogen trains, visit

The International Hydrail Conference brings together the world's leading experts in the development of hydrogen-fuel technology for railways. Appalachian's Energy Center hosted the First Hydrail International Conference in Charlotte in 2005.

The term "hydrail" was coined by a Charlotte-area native to describe the use of fuel cells and hydrogen to power locomotives. It also is shorthand for hydrogen train.

Fuel cells are considered one of the most promising energy technologies of the future because of their high efficiency and low emissions. Although automobiles are commonly touted as the fuel cell-powered vehicle of the future, hydrogen and fuel cell-powered trains are likely to be adopted as one of the earliest transportation solutions in the hydrogen economy.

Hydrogen trains, or hydrail, are not subject to many of the barriers preventing the mass adoption of fuel cell transportation, and their deployment could provide a transportation infrastructure around which additional hydrogen and fuel cell applications may be built. The first hydrogen-powered train models are currently being demonstrated in Japan and Europe.

Conference sponsors include Air Products, Fuel Cell Markets, Plataforma Tecnologica Ferroviaria Espanola, Energias Renovables, Metro Valencia and FGV.

NTDA Energia, the leading organizer, is an international company committed to the development and deployment of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. NTDA Energia plays a leading role in the European Union Joint Technology Initiative on Fuel Cells and Hydrogen, and is one of the six members of the governing board for the industry.

The Appalachian State University Energy Center, located in Boone, N.C., is a multi-disciplinary applied research center working in the area of energy. The Energy Center draws upon resources from across the university, including business, economics, political science, technology, chemistry, physics, and sustainable development faculty. The center also is closely involved with regional and national organizations dedicated to facilitating the advancement of the hydrogen and fuel cell technologies.

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Fourth International Hydrail Conference