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Eden Energy Reports Successful Testing of Naturally-Aspirated 6L Hydrogen-Methane Engine for India Bus Fleet; Turbo Version Under Development

Australia-based Eden Energy Limited has successfully tested a production-ready 6-liter engine that will enable India’s largest bus manufacturer, Ashok Leyland, to power buses with Eden’s low-emission Hythane blend of hydrogen-enriched natural gas (usually 20% hydrogen by volume). (Earlier post.)

The 6-cylinder 92 kW (123 hp) 2010 H06B CNG engine—developed by Ashok Leyland in conjunction with Eden’s wholly-owned US subsidiary, Hythane Company—was initially designed to meet the country’s current Bharat IV (Euro IV) mandatory emissions targets. However, the results from the calibrated control system and exhaust catalyst testing for the naturally-aspirated engine would meet Bharat V (Euro V) requirements, according to Justin Fulton, Hythane Company’s Director of Engine and Fuel Systems.

Over the “European Transient Cycle” (ETC), an engine dynamometer test that simulates real-world driving conditions for heavy-duty vehicles, the Hythane engine tests yielded the following improvements relative to the natural gas baseline:

  • NOx emissions reduced by 16.6%
  • Total hydrocarbon (THC) emissions reduced by 15.1%, including a non-methane hydrocarbon (NMHC) reduction of 66.6%
  • Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions reduced by 6.2%
  • Fuel efficiency improvement of 6.5% based on fuel combustion energy.

Eden Energy will receive royalties from both Ashok Leyland and the engine control system provider for all Hythane-fuelled-engine sales.

In the near future, Ashok Leyland will also release turbo-charged versions of the H06 engine, and the control system strategies used for these engines will allow them to take advantage of hydrogen’s combustion properties above and beyond the improvements seen in the base CNG/Hythane engine.

Preliminary investigations on the new engines began in April after the base engine production calibration work, and production-intent optimization by Hythane Company and Ashok Leyland will continue this year.

India joined the International Partnership for the Hydrogen Economy (IPHE) as a founding member in 2003. By 2006, a National Hydrogen Energy Roadmap was created to plan for a transition to hydrogen energy and infrastructure, including power generation and transport applications. The Roadmap’s Vision 2020, through the Green Initiatives for Transport (GIFT), calls for 1 million vehicles to be operating on hydrogen fuels by 2020. (Earlier post.)

The release of India’s first production Hythane engine will precede the country’s first large-scale refuelling station for hydrogen-enriched natural gas, as previously announced by Eden Energy. This station, due to be constructed by the end of the year, will refuel 50 to 70 buses in Mumbai.

In addition to the Ashok Leyland buses, another major Indian bus manufacturer has approved in principle a development project to recalibrate their engines for optimized Hythane fuel operation in 2010, according to Eden Energy.

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