Ashok Leyland, a leading manufacturer of commercial vehicles and engines in India, has signed an agreement with Brehon Energy PLC for technology for the use of Hythane—a blend of hydrogen and compressed natural gas (CNG) that is usually about 7% hydrogen by energy or 20% by volume—in its CNG engines. (Earlier post.)
This agreement will enable Ashok Leyland to offer its 6-cylinder H-series engines with a Hythane option. Use of Hythane reduces emissions compared to CNG. Testing by SunLine Transit found that hydrogen-CNG blends reduced NOx emissions by 50%, non-methane hydrocarbons by 58%, methane by 16%, total hydrocarbons by 23% and CO2 by 7% compared to conventional CNG.
Currently, Ashok Leyland produces Bharat Stage 3 (BS3)-compliant diesel and CNG engines. BS3 is equivalent to Euro 3. The re-engineered engines using Hythane will meet the more stringent, future emission norms starting with BS4.
The use of CNG in vehicular applications in India is expected to grow in line with the Government’s plans to make available CNG in more parts of the country. The Government is also actively encouraging R&D on hydrogen-CNG mixes as an alternate fuel for automobile engines. (Earlier post.)