Ben-Gurion University of the Negev announced Monday that it was part of a joint venture to commercially develop an on-vehicle hydrogen fuel system which would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 45 percent and make the engine 80% more efficient than standard internal combustion engines. The Blechner Center for Industrial Catalysis and Process Development at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev has teamed up with ExxonMobil, Quest Air Technologies and Plug-Power to develop the revolutionary system, the university said. What is unique about this system is that it uses regular fuel - gasoline, diesel, ethanol or biodiesel - and converts it into hydrogen which will then be used to power the car. "By developing a system that converts liquid hydrocarbons into hydrogen directly on a vehicle without the need for storage, we hope to demonstrate significant infrastructure, logistics and cost advantages compared to other hydrogen vehicle systems, all while reducing the impact on the environment," said Dr. Emil Jacobs, Vice President of Research and Development at ExxonMobil Research and Engineering. "There is a long road ahead before this technology could be deployed on a mass scale in passenger vehicles, but it has the potential to be up to 80% more fuel efficient than today's internal combustion engine technologies and reduce CO2 emissions by up to 45%. The use of this technology in a practical, commercial setting such as in a lift truck application is an important early step in demonstrating the potential benefits this technology may hold in the long-term, " Jacobs added. Most other hydrogen fuel system prototypes require either liquid hydrogen or highly pressurized hydrogen which requires an additional distribution system. There is also some danger in transporting stored hydrogen. The new system forgoes the distribution system and uses the hydrogen immediately, thus reducing the cost and the danger. The Blechner Center blends academic research with practical applications to create innovative systems. It is headed by Prof. Moti Herskowitz.