Hydrogen-Diesel Hybrid Engines: Revolutionizing Heavy Industries

Engineers at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney, Australia, have successfully modified a conventional diesel engine to run on a mix of hydrogen and a small amount of diesel, claiming their patented technology has cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by more than 85%. Professor Shawn Kook and his team in the School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering are leading this project. This novel technology could help decarbonize Australia’s heaviest industries. 

The test rig, known as “baby number two,” has garnered interest from countries worldwide, including Germany, South Africa, Brazil, Japan and China, because of the high interest in converting existing diesel engines to clean-burning hydrogen. This hydrogen direct injection system is mounted into the existing diesel engine, which can be applied to any conventional engine. According to Prof Kook, their system is unique because of the way it mixes the hydrogen and diesel before introducing it to the engine cylinder for combustion. 

The UNSW team created the hydrogen-diesel hybrid motors for use in industries that require heavy machinery. According to the Sydney research team, any diesel trucks and power equipment in the mining, transportation and agriculture sectors can be converted to the hybrid system in just a couple of months. Without hydrogen, the hybrid engine will revert to using diesel only. 

For now, the hydrogen-diesel hybrid is still a work in progress at UNSW, as it needs outside investment and hands-on input and knowledge from a mining company or engine manufacturer to reach completion. Prof Kook says they want to impact the Australian mining, agriculture and construction industries before expanding to the rest of the world. 

OneH2 sees the hydrogen-diesel hybrid engine as a major step forward in increasing hydrogen’s application and use worldwide. With the potential to significantly reduce emissions, this technology can be retrofitted to existing diesel engines, making the transition to hydrogen a more viable and cost-effective option for heavy industries. 

We are committed to supporting the development and deployment of hydrogen technologies that can decarbonize transportation and heavy industries, and we see the success of this hydrogen-diesel hybrid engine as a promising step in that direction.

To read more about the machine, visit: BBC.com: The race to make diesel engines run on hydrogen