Government Awards Cella Energy and Partners £350k funding to reduce emission from diesel engines

Cella Energy is leading a 2 year project to develop hydrogen diesel co-combustion to radically reduce particulate and nitrous oxide emissions


Harwell, Oxfordshire, – Cella Energy is pleased to announce that it has won £350k funding from the Technology Strategy Board and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) as part of the Low Carbon Vehicle Innovation Platform Integrated Delivery Programme 8 (IDP8) competition with their partners MIRA, University College London, and Productiv.
As part of a current Technology Strategy Board funded project called Breakthrough in Energy Storage Technology, Cella Energy, MIRA, Unipart Eberspacher Exhaust Systems and Productiv are developing a 1kW hydrogen generator using Cella Energy’s lightweight hydrogen storage material. The aim of the new project is to use this technology to supply hydrogen to an internal combustion engine to improve the efficiency of the diesel combustion and reduce emissions. The World Health Organisation says air pollution is already known to raise risks for a wide range of illnesses including respiratory and heart diseases.
This has the potential to open a new market for hydrogen, allowing older, more polluting, diesel vehicles access to low emission zones in cities across Europe. The mechanical engineering department at University College London has unique expertise and facilities, which will be used to provide an in-depth understanding of the effect of hydrogen on the combustion of diesel. Cella and MIRA will combine the hydrogen generation technology and the results from UCL studies to develop a cleaner powertrain for diesel vans.
“Cella is thrilled to have the opportunity to be teaming with such world class automotive experts” said Cella Energy CEO and Founder Stephen Bennington. “This market will enable us to scale up the production of our material and rapidly drive down costs.”
“These experiments may potentially disrupt the normal processes of diesel combustion. We hope that combining our detailed understanding of fuel combustion with the innovation of our skilled industry partners will let us contribute to reducing the emission of harmful pollutants, such as soot, from road vehicles.” say Professor Nicos Ladommatos and Dr Paul Hellier of UCL Mechanical Engineering, researchers on the project.

Notes for Editor
Cella Energy Ltd: Cella Energy Limited is a research and intellectual property company with expertise in materials and hydrogen storage. It owns unique patented technology in safe, low-cost hydrogen storage materials. Cella is a spin-out from the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL), which is owned by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC). Work began on the technology in 2007, financed predominantly by the STFC and led by Professor Stephen Bennington with collaboration from the London Centre for Nanotechnology at University College London UCL and the Oxford Department of Chemistry. The company was formed through initial investment by Thomas Swann, a chemical company based in the North-East of England. In October 2011 Cella signed a new round of investment led by Space Florida, which is the State of Florida’s aerospace economic development agency and is currently setting up a second research facility at the Kennedy Space Center. Cella Energy won the 2011 Shell Spring Board Award and an Energy Innovation Award.
For more information contact:
Stephen Bennington, CEO Tel: +44 (0)1235 567505


MIRA Ltd: is a leading independent provider of research, product engineering and test services, primarily in support of the automotive industry, which is underpinned by continuous investment in the most advanced technologies. MIRA is focused on the short, medium and long term goals of the strategy for a Smarter, Safer and Greener attitude towards transportation and the need to be transported. MIRA has extensive knowledge and experience in the field of low CO2 vehicles and has been at the forefront of low carbon vehicle design and implementation for more than a decade. MIRA works extensively with governments and the automotive supply chain to accelerate advanced low carbon vehicle technologies.


UCL Mechanical Engineering, founded as the first mechanical engineering department in England in 1847, has an established international reputation in the field of internal combustion (IC) engine research. We translate this into industry change through our strong links with the UK automotive industry and our training of skilled doctoral students. Through the significant funds committed by UCL over the last 10 years, its IC engines and fuel systems research facilities have been entirely rebuilt. The custom IC engines laboratory comprises eight test cells, which house eight single cylinder gasoline and diesel research engines (three with extensive optical access) and two fuel-spray test chambers, as well as full sets of exhaust emissions equipment and advanced diagnostic instruments. The UCL IC Engines Group has significant expertise in understanding the effects of fuel formulation on the efficiency of combustion and the production of regulated pollutants, and these will be brought to bear within the current project in determining the potential advantages of H2 and diesel co-combustion.
For more information and comments:
Dr Paul Hellier,, +44 (0)2076797620,


Productiv Ltd: Productiv emerged from the Low Carbon Tier 1 project (LCT1) initiated by Richard Bruges (Chief Executive) in 2009 while employed as Head of Innovation at Unipart. Having researched the supply chain issues surrounding the adoption of low carbon technologies by OEM vehicle manufacturers, the company identified the need for a new approach to the development and industrialisation of SME owned technologies. This new approach would create the elusive viable route to market. Productiv is being supported by industry, investors and government and has the endorsement of the Automotive Council Technology and Supply Chain Groups. More than 50 technology providers have already contacted us to learn more about what we do and how we do it. 5 UK based OEM’s are asking us to help them source new technologies or undertake manufacturing feasibility studies of selected technologies. Using existing UK manufacturing and engineering resources Productiv industrialises innovations in green technology so that they can be adopted by major OEM manufacturers. Specialising in production runs of less than 20,000, Productiv’s approach is tailor-made to deliver the quality standards and component costs necessary to turn green innovations into market reality.

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