Clean Air Power demonstrates Freightliner Class 66 locomotive running on combination of diesel, biogas and hydrogen
UK-based Clean Air Power has demonstrated a Freightliner Class 66 locomotive running on hydrogen to reduce its carbon emission output. Clean Air Power achieved this by fitting the Class 66 with its precision injection technology, allowing the two-stroke diesel locomotive to run on a combination of diesel, biogas and hydrogen.
The nine-month initiative marks the first time this technology, which has been successfully demonstrated on road, was applied to the rail freight sector. The project paves the way for the decarbonization of other Class 66 locomotives; the locomotives carry more than 80% of the freight on the rail network.
The Class 66 locomotive was built by Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) (JT42CWRM), now part of Progress Rail, a Caterpillar company.
Clean Air Power was able to fund the initiative after being chosen as one of the winners of the 2021 First of a Kind (FOAK) competition, which is backed by the Department for Transport in partnership with Innovate UK. FOAK is aimed at making railways cleaner, greener and more passenger friendly.
Thirty projects were awarded a share of £9 million (US$11 million), with Clean Air Power securing almost £400,000 (US$490,000).
Clean Air Power’s main project partner was rail freight operator, Freightliner, a subsidiary of Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (G&W). They were supported by RSSB, Carrickarory, the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education at the University of Birmingham, Network Rail and Tarmac.
Freightliner is also supporting the development of Gd45 powered by Shell GTL Fuel, a new lower emission fuel, and will be the first to use the product for operational trials on some of its diesel-powered services in support of their commitment to enhancing the environmental benefits of rail-freight transportation.
Data collected from testing shows significant emissions reductions in diesel engines of 84% methane, 14% NOx and 18% ultra fine particulates when compared to regular diesel. There was no performance impact or loss of horsepower.