Diesel Emissions Abatement
There are serious health concerns surrounding diesel emissions and regulation has been getting stricter, particularly in Europe. For engine and car manufacturers, this is making it difficult to balance the competing demands of reducing NOₓ and particulates while maintaining efficiency. As a result they are introducing ever more complex and expensive post-combustion solutions.
In cities like London, the regulatory burden is placed on the end user, in the form of tariffs for vehicles that do not meet European standards. This can be an expensive problem for fleet operators, particularly of coaches and buses where the average age of the vehicles is greater than 10 years.
Adding a small amount of hydrogen to the air intake of a diesel engine can dramatically affect the combustion process, and potentially reduce emissions. Contrary to other emissions reduction technologies, hydrogen injection has been shown not to increase the emissions of nitrous oxides (NOX) or reduce engine efficiency. In fact several reports show that with careful engine management it is possible to reduce the particulate emissions dramatically, with a slight improvement in NOX and some improvement in the efficiency of the diesel burn.
Aerospace – Cabin Power
The Aviation Authorities in the USA and Europe are planning to regulate to allow the use of fuel cells in commercial aircraft in the next few years. This means that most aerospace companies have projects looking at how hydrogen fuel cells can be used to reduce emissions but also improve performance.
A proportion of the fuel used on an aircraft is converted to electricity in an auxiliary power unit and used for vital electrical systems as well as ‘hotel load’ functions such as heating, lighting and air-conditioning while the plane is on the ground. This is inefficient and increases local air pollution at airports.
Cella’s material offers an attractive method to store hydrogen in a safe and lightweight way. Applications include back-up or emergency power, in-cabin power and an auxiliary power unit that would provide power for all the plane’s ‘hotel’ functions whilst the plane is on the ground. The material offers flexibility, minimizing maintenance cost and will help reduce take-off weight and hence save fuel.
Back-up and emergency power
The kinds of back-up and emergency power systems that Cella is developing have a wide range of other other applications. The material offers:
- Long term stability
- A cleaner and quieter alternative to diesel generators
- Useful in remote locations where theft of diesel and generators is an issue
- An auxiliary power unit using Cella’s material would have little resale value as Cella’s material cannot be reused in any other device.