Researchers at the Engines and Unconventional Fuels Laboratory, IIT Delhi developed a new technology and built a hydrogen fueled spark-ignition engine generator for zero-emission
Diesel-fueled internal combustion engine generator for electrical power generation mainly emits carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbon (HC), smoke, particulate matter (PM), oxides of nitrogen (NOx), and carbon dioxide (CO2), contributing to air pollution.
To tackle this, researchers at the Engines and Unconventional Fuels Laboratory, IIT Delhi developed a new technology and built a hydrogen fueled spark-ignition engine generator in collaboration with Kirloskar Oil Engines Ltd (KOEL) and the Indian Oil R&D Center for the utilization of hydrogen in internal combustion engines for zero-emission with higher thermal efficiency. A dedicated lubricating oil for the engine was also developed by the IOCL.
The project was mainly funded by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India, and supplementary funded by KOEL and IOCL R&D Centre. IIT Delhi and KOEL have jointly filed a patent application for the technology.
“As hydrogen does not contain carbon, the hydrogen-fueled engine does not emit any carbonaceous emissions. The emission ‘oxides of nitrogen’ can be controlled to ultra-low level using the appropriate technologies,” said Dr. K.A. Subramanian, Principal Investigator of the project and professor at the Centre for Energy Studies, IIT Delhi.
Hydrogen is available as a tangible product from industries including chloro-alkali, ammonia, and refineries. Hydrogen can also be produced from the splitting of water using electrolyzers coupled with renewable energy sources (solar, wind, biomass, etc.). The surplus electricity can be converted into hydrogen using the electrolyzer. Using this engine, electricity can be produced whenever needed, such as meeting peak load demand, no short-term grid power available, and emergencies.
The hydrogen fuel, up to 4 bar from the gaseous cylinder (150 bar / 350 bar / 700 bar) or the pipeline stored at low pressure (10 bar and above) in the industries will be injected into the intake manifold of the engine.
The technology will be useful to the industries producing hydrogen as tangible or main products, to generate electrical power to meet their inhouse-power requirement in the industry.
The developed hydrogen engine can also be used in decentralized power generation.
Dr. Subramanian said, “If hydrogen infrastructure can be developed and made available in the future, diesel generators can be replaced with hydrogen generators for electrical power generation. It will help to control air pollution, especially in urban areas.”