Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Hydrogen injection being used by long-haul truckers

Hydrogen isn't just for fuel cells any more. It can be injected into regular internal combustion engines (ICE) and help the ICE use the fuel more efficiently and produce less poisin into the atmosphere.

Truckers Choose Hydrogen Power (By Stephen Leahy, Wired News, 02:00 AM Nov. 15, 2005 PT)

The idea is to have an on-board electrolysis unit that takes existing power generated on board from the alternator, electrolyzes water, extracts the hydrogen, injecting the hydrogen into the ICE as it burns the fuel.

These truckers aren't just do-gooders. They like Canadian Hydrogen Energy's Hydrogen Fuel Injection, or HFI, system because it lets them save fuel, get more horsepower and, as a bonus, cause less pollution.

"We're saving $700 a month per truck on fuel," said Sherwin Fast, president of Great Plains Trucking in Salinas, Kansas. The company tried the HFI system on four trucks and has ordered 25 more.

"Drivers like the increased power and noticed there is a lot less black smoke coming out of the stacks," said Fast.

HFI is a bolt-on, aftermarket part that injects small amounts of hydrogen into the engine air intake, said Canadian Hydrogen Energy's Steve Gilchrist. Fuel efficiency and horsepower are improved because hydrogen burns faster and hotter than diesel, dramatically boosting combustion efficiency.

This is better than carrying hydrogen tanks because hydrogen refeuling isn't widely available. And it's interesting this contributes to better performance, pollution and efficiency characteristics.

Towards the end of the article is a rant, that I agree with, about the push for fuel cells as the solution. The way I see it, fuel cells are merely a way of pushing the supposed solution further out into the future so the car companies don't have to make any significant changes today. They don't want to solve the problem, they want to keep their cash cow going, which means nurturing the duopoly relationship with the oil companies.

On the other hand, this is available now, works now, apparently is simple to install, etc.


Canadian Hydrogen Energy's Hydrogen Fuel Injection: This is the unit discussed in the article.

Protium Energy Technologies: seems to be a cunsultancy advising corporations on hydrogen power investments.

Canada's Environmental Technology Verification Program: Provides an analysis and verification service studying claims of environmentally sound products or services.

U.S. National Hydrogen Energy Association

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