Business Standard. The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) has submitted a proposal to the ministry of non-conventional energy sources to conduct pilot testing of vehicles running on a blend of CNG and 10% hydrogen in New Delhi.
SIAM, which represents the major automakers in India, will collaborate with Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) on the project to evaluate the fuel efficiency of the fuel blend. Indian Oil launched India’s first Hydrogen-CNG (HCNG) fueling station at its R&D Centre at Faridabad near Delhi in 2005 to test blends from 5% to 30%. (Earlier post.)
The government will ultimately decide which type of vehicles will be used in the test, although it is likely that both commercial and non-commercial vehicles will be included.
Talking to Business Standard about the project, Dilip Chenoy, director-general of Siam, said, “The project is a joint initiative of the association and other partners to ensure that the usage of alternative fuels assumes dynamic proportions in the next few years.”
The wheels to frame the project were set in motion in 2005 when Ratan Tata and Anand Mahindra proposed the use of hydrogen in blend with other fuels as an alternative to petrol.
Subsequently, in a core meeting with Finance Minister P Chidambaram, it was decided that hydrogen would be explored not as an alternative but as a supplement to CNG.
“The use of hydrogen effectively means that the amount of nitrogen oxide being emitted with the burning of CNG would reduce at least 10 per cent. Another favorable factor is that hydrogen also has the advantage of being a renewable source compared with CNG,” said Chenoy, while expressing his confidence in the government implementing the project in the coming months.
The US Department of Energy’s Advanced Vehicle Testing Activity (AVTA)—managed by Idaho national laboratory—has tested a number of different vehicles using different blends of hydrogen and CNG.
The AVTA testing on an unmodified Dodge RAM CNG van burning a 15% hydrogen-CNG blend found that vehicle exhibited reduction in all measured pollutants, with the sole exception of NOx. The increased NOx emissions occurred only during certain phases of the test cycle, and pointed to the need to modify and to optimize the engine to burn the hydrogen-CNG blend.
DOE’s Natural Gas Vehicle Technology Forum is supporting a project to develop heavy-duty HCNG engines and transit buses. Engines optimized for HCNG (20% hydrogen, 80% CNG mole fraction) engines demonstrated lower emissions, including a 50% reduction in NOx, than similar engines fueled with CNG alone with no significant change in fuel efficiency.
SIAM is also working with IOC, Mahindra and Mahindra and Ashok Leyand on developing the use of biodiesel as a fuel. The association has also undertaken modular research on straight vegetable oil to be used in automobiles.
Idaho national Laboratory: Hydrogen Internal Combustion Engine Vehicles