Automotive

Hydrogen injection device saves fuel and cuts emissions on big diesels

Hydrogen injection device save...
Hydi claims its hydrogen injection unit can make impressive reductions on fuel consumption and emissions for large diesels
Hydi claims its hydrogen injection unit can make impressive reductions on fuel consumption and emissions for large diesels
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Hydi claims its hydrogen injection unit can make impressive reductions on fuel consumption and emissions for large diesels
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Hydi claims its hydrogen injection unit can make impressive reductions on fuel consumption and emissions for large diesels

A South Australian company is ready to go into full production with an innovative aftermarket kit that impressively cuts fuel consumption, particulates and carbon monoxide emissions from big diesel engines, asking only for a little water in return.

The HYDI system generates its own hydrogen as you drive and directly injects it into the air-fuel mixture just before the combustion stage, altering the fuel mapping of the engine for optimum efficiency. The company claims a little hydrogen "helps the mixture ignite faster and more completely, resulting in greater power using less fuel and creating fewer emissions."

It works with a range of large diesel engines from six liters to 40 liters and beyond, and the company says it can reduce fuel consumption by between five and 13 percent, leading to return-on-investment times as quick as three months in non-stop scenarios, or up to 18 months with a city bus-type usage profile.

Its effect on emissions is perhaps even more impressive, cutting particulate emissions by between 25 and a massive 80 percent, while reducing carbon monoxide emissions by between seven and 25 percent.

It generates the hydrogen via electrolysis, taking power from the alternator and using it to split distilled water from a container that requires about two liters of water for every 70-odd hours of operation. There are no electrolytic or alkaline solutions involved, according to HYDI Managing Director John Wilson, a fact he says separates the HYDI device from others on the market.

Is there a conservation of energy issue here? After all, electrolytically splitting hydrogen from water is an inefficient process, meaning you need to draw more energy from the engine than you can recoup from the burning of the hydrogen you generate.

But that's not the point of these systems. Hydrogen takes vastly less energy to ignite than diesel, and it creates flames that propagate through the combustion chamber more than 10 times faster than diesel. This creates faster and more complete combustion of the air-diesel mix, making more efficient use of the fuel. That's where your added efficiency and reduced emissions come from, not from the energy released by a relatively tiny amount of hydrogen.

HYDI says it's been developing and testing the system since 2013, with units fitted to prime movers, public buses, garbage trucks, mining vehicles and generators around Australia, with one truck already racking up some 50,000 km (31,000 mi) of outback hauling.

Test results from the University of South Australia have confirmed the particulate emissions cuts, and it's unclear where the fuel efficiency and CO emissions results come from, but Wilson says HYDI is producing the units at a small scale already, and making plans for larger manufacturing facilities should a big order come in.

"We’re on a sharp trajectory, you only get one chance with heavy industry and we feel like we’re ready now," says Wilson. “We’ve got about a dozen units out there now, we’ve sold a few and the others are on trial.”

Source: HYDI via The Lead

20 comments
KaiserPingo
So just like waterinjection...
paleochocolate
Aren't people already making their own HHO devices at home?
William Lowndes
Professor Sam DeMaria pioneered this at The University of South Australia back in the late ‘80s. E2RG!
michael_dowling
It saves fuel and cuts emissions-great! The next step is using hydrogen in fuel cells to power big rigs,which will eliminate emissions entirely,assuming the H2 is made from renewables. H2 will never work for private autos,but will have a bright future powering heavy equipment,trains,ships and aircraft. There is already a flying taxi in development powered by cryogenic H2 with a range of 400 miles and refueling time of a few minutes: https://newatlas.com/alakai-skai-hydrogen-vtol-air-taxi/59911/
niio
"directly injects it into the air-fuel mixture just before the combustion stage"

This is not how diesels work.
paul314
if this works, it could essentially put us back where we thought we were before the Dieselgate fiasco. Cutting particulates on diesels is particularly good, because those cause all kinds of illness.
guzmanchinky
Seems like a no brainer for ships.
Adrian Akau
There are some methods of electrolysis (using pulsed current) that are supposed to make electrolysis energy efficient. It is not stated in the article if the electrolysis is with DC or pulsed DC from a patented design.
Saigvre
No, pulsed current does not make electrolysis efficient absent a particular material deficiency whose counterreaction can be avoided by changing the current. This looks pretty great for heavy not-diesel trucks...I guess?
martinwinlow
Sorry, but I'm obviously missing something, here. The power for making the H2 comes from the alternator. The alternator is powered from the engine and the engine gets it source of energy from fossil fuel (diesel). Over-unity, anyone? I cannot see how this can be saving fuel, given that the process of making H2 and then burning it is only about 25% efficient. I could be convinced that - in some whacky magical way (or maybe it's just chemistry) - the addition of H2 to the combustion process could improve emissions but saving fuel? Nah!