With innovative conversion technology developed at the University of New South Wales in Australia, diesel engines used to power trucks and equipment in the transport, agriculture and mining sectors can be adapted to hydrogen-diesel hybrid engines.
Existing diesel engines can operate using 90% hydrogen as fuel and can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 85% thanks to the hydrogen-diesel direct injection dual fuel system. In addition to the initial diesel injection system, a hydrogen fuel injection system is installed directly in the cylinder.
The extremely high purity hydrogen required for alternative hydrogen fuel cell systems and which is more expensive to produce is not needed by the dual fuel system.
The diesel-hydrogen hybrid has been shown to provide an efficiency increase of over 26% compared to conventional diesel engines. This improvement relates to independent timing control for diesel and hydrogen direct injection, allowing full combustion mode control. This kind of precisely timed hydrogen direct injection regulates the mixing state within the engine cylinder, reducing nitrogen oxide emissions, which has been an obstacle to the commercialization of hydrogen engines.
The researchers want to commercialize the new technology, which they presented in the International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, within the next 12 to 24 months.