The project has been assessed by CALSTART, who research emissions standards testing in California and confirmed to be able to meet the 0.02 grams per brake horsepower hour limit for ultra-low NOx. In fact, CALSTART Executive Vice President Bill Van Amburg has been quoted as saying it’s “the cleanest combustion, lowest carbon combustion engine in the world.”
Achates Power’s Chief Technical Officer Fabien Redon also says it could actually get cleaner. The engine, because of the way it’s designed, could be used for gasoline, natural gas, or even hydrogen combustion as well as diesel. “You can imagine an engine burning hydrogen basically without any after-treatment system requirement and without any actual emissions coming out of the tailpipe.”
Redon said there was a potential advantage over fuel-cell hydrogen use because combustion needs less high-grade hydrogen: “Another interesting aspect of an internal combustion engine burning hydrogen is that it doesn’t require a very high purity of hydrogen, which opens up the door for low cost hydrogen and different sources of hydrogen as well.”
It should be noted that hydrogen combustion engines do produce NOx as a side effect, although it can be made very minimal with technologies like air recirculation.
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