India-based Ashok Leyland reports it has successfully developed a 6-cylinder, 6-liter 92 kW (123 hp) BS-4 (equivalent to Euro-4) engine for operation with Hythane in association with Eden Energy, Australia. (Earlier post.) Hythane is a blend of natural gas and hydrogen (usually 20% hydrogen by volume).
The addition of hydrogen improves efficiency while retaining the low emission characteristics of CNG.
Concurrently, a 4-cylinder 4-liter 63 kW (84 hp) engine is being developed for H-CNG blend in a joint R&D program with the MNRE (Ministry of New and Renewable Energy) and Indian Oil Corporation.
Ashok Leyland says that application of these engines to buses is at an advanced stage. The company is also in discussions with the government of India regarding making Hythane available for commercial use in the future.
Ashok Leyland pioneered the use of CNG fuel for mass transportation in India by rolling out India’s first CNG bus in 1997 in Mumbai. Today, more than 5,500 Ashok Leyland CNG buses ply on the roads of Delhi, Ahmedabad, Vijayawada and Mumbai as also in certain overseas markets.
Ashok Leyland also developed India’s first MPFI (Multi-Point Fuel Injection) system for high capacity CNG engines in 2008.