Engineers convert diesel engines to burn hydrogen

Researchers in Australia have created a method to convert current diesel engines to burn hydrogen, possibly reducing their carbon emissions by over 85%.

Engineers further claim that if the technology is developed, diesel truck engines may be converted to reduce pollution in Australia “immediately and significantly.”

Over the course of 18 months, a team at the University of New South Wales’ School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering developed the technology and produced a Hydrogen-Diesel Direct Injection Dual-Fuel System prototype.

The technique enables a diesel engine to run on 90% hydrogen fuel when it is upgraded.

This reduced pollution in testing when compared to a diesel engine by 85.9%.

According to UNSW Professor Shawn Kook, the technology is currently suitable for use in power equipment and may one day be upgraded for use in diesel automobiles.

The initial use, according to him, will be in mining locations with diesel generators, which produce a lot of CO2.

“We can refit them and turn them into hydrogen energy that burns cleanly.

“We can push the technology into vehicles and toward individual consumers after it has developed and any issues have been found.”

Researchers, according to Prof. Kook, thought the innovation would speed up the switch to cleaner machinery for long-haul freight and mines by many years.

Retrofitting existing diesel engines is considerably faster than waiting for the creation of brand-new fuel cell systems, which may not be widely accessible for at least ten years, according to the expert.

He said that the technology was currently prepared for usage on mining sites, albeit stronger “hydrogen storage systems” would be needed for its use in cars.

Dr. Shaun Chan and Professor Evatt Hawkes co-created the innovation, which was described in an article published in the International Journal of Hydrogen Energy. It operated by injecting hydrogen fuel straight into a diesel engine’s cylinder.

The hybrid engine also showed a 26% increase in efficiency and did not need the high-purity hydrogen that fuel-cell systems do.

Research in Australia is now primarily focused on employing green hydrogen technology to augment and replace conventional diesel engines.

Other supporters include Adelaide-based Hydrogen Direct Injection (HYDI), which used garbage trucks to showcase its technique.

In addition, Miner Fortescue agreed to purchase 120 battery- and hydrogen-powered vehicles from Liebherr in June to replace its fleet of diesel trucks.