A device to cut fuel use by 10 to 15 percent while reducing the exhaust emissions of internal combustion engines will be targeted at the transport industry.
Hydroflex in Australia is preparing for final trials of its version one hydrogen-based fuel reduction system ahead of a commercial launch.
The systems can be fitted to any internal combustion diesel or petrol engine ranging in size from a car to a cruise ship.
The company is initially focusing on large engines such as generators on mining sites, long-haul trucks, ships and diesel trains because they represent the biggest opportunities in terms of fuel savings and emission reductions.
Independent testing will begin on generators for the mining industry and trucks for the transport industry shortly.
Chief Technology Officer and inventor Richard Connors, says unlike catalytic converters and diesel particulate filters that treat emissions ‘after the fact’, his device uses hydrogen and oxygen to increase the amount of fuel burnt in the combustion process.
“We have a device that is cost effective and delivers value to the bottom line of the customer and at the same time reduces all seven types of pollution that normally come out of the back end of an exhaust pipe – we positively reduce all of them at different ratios,” Richard adds.
The device includes a 1.5 litre tank of water with an electrolyte in it. A small voltage of electricity is applied to the water to initiate electrolysis that creates hydrogen and oxygen vapour. The vapour is then piped through a standard rubber hose to the front of the air filter where it is combined with normal air to produce a hydrogen enhanced combustion process.
“So our hydrogen and oxygen is not a fuel, it is an accelerant that is consumed in the process and thereby because it moves the flame front faster, it burns more of the fuel leading to more power and less pollution.
“To run this thing all operators have to do is add 1.5 litres of ordinary tap water every
Previous hydrogen systems relied on pressurized gas cylinders which needed operator intervention and had safety issues requiring certification.
The Hydroflex device has been vetted by government officials and does not need any special approvals before being fitted to an engine.
Pricing will depend on the size of the engine and the level of after sales support required, but payback periods would average about 12 months for most engines.
The reduction in carbon emissions could also make companies eligible for carbon credits.
The device can be moved from one vehicle to another and updated as new versions are developed. Richard says each device has an expected life of at least five years. “If a part wears out, you put another part in. If it’s properly maintained it can last as long as your truck and then some.”