How To Convert A Gasoline Engine To Run On Hydrogen?

However, there are several obstacles to producing enough hydrogen to power an engine without using gasoline:

  • a method for producing HHO that is far too huge and expensive
  • The vehicle’s battery is unable to provide the necessary current.
  • The HHO generator, water reservoir, and battery bank would all be enough to fill a trailer that would have to be towed by the car.
  • Controlling the HHO flow to fulfill the dynamic needs of a gasoline engine is impossible.

Is it possible to run a gasoline engine on hydrogen?

In comparison to all other fuels, hydrogen has a wide spectrum of flammability. As a result, hydrogen can be burned in a variety of fuel-air mixtures in an internal combustion engine.

Is it possible to convert a gas car to hydrogen?

On the internet, you may buy kits that claim to “reconvert our gasoline and diesel autos into hydrogen vehicles,” with fuel savings of up to 30% claimed.

The fuel cell converts hydrogen and oxygen in the air into water, and it is this chemical reaction that provides the energy that drives the 100% electric motor.

With Toyota’s new fuel cell Mirai, things have changed, and it’s possible that, as with hybrid vehicles, this presentation will serve as a signal for other manufacturers to follow Toyota’s lead.

Is it possible to turn a regular car into a hydrogen fuel cell car?

Yes, but any mechanical engineer would tell you that the technology is simply too expensive to be worthwhile.

It’s also true that converting a car from gasoline or diesel to hydrogen necessitates replacing the engine, the entire fuel supply and distribution system, the transmission, and the gearbox. To put it another way, the surgery will be more expensive than the vehicle itself.

Only large, high-cost combustion vehicles, such as buses or long-distance trucks, would make sense for conversion, though each application would still need to be evaluated individually.

The conversion kits sold on the internet have nothing to do with the chemical process of energy production that we’ve discussed. These are devices that solely use hydrogen from the air to modify the combustion system of a diesel or gasoline engine, with the ultimate goal of minimizing consumption.

To put it another way, if one of these kits is installed, our gasoline or diesel car will continue to be theoretically optimal. We say theoretically for the following reasons:

  • Some engine components will need to be modified.
  • Mixing and emission control electrical components must be changed.
  • Engine operating temperatures will almost probably be higher than they were before to the installation of the package.
  • If the kit or changes are discovered in the ITV, the vehicle will fail the inspection.

Furthermore, it is advisable not to ponder what would happen if we were in an accident and the engine caught fire, because the question is: would the insurance take over if it was revealed that the engine had been modified without the proper homologation…

Is it possible to run a conventional engine on hydrogen?

Hydrogen, a zero-carbon fuel, can be used to power both internal combustion engines and hydrogen fuel cells.

In a hydrogen engine, hydrogen is burned in the same way as gasoline is burned in an internal combustion engine. Traditional spark-ignition engines are substantially identical to hydrogen internal combustion engines (Hydrogen ICE). If you’re interested, you can learn more about hydrogen engines.

Fuel cell hydrogen vehicles (FCEVs) use hydrogen to generate energy in a device known as a fuel cell, which is then used in an electric motor similar to an electric car.

What is the price of a gallon of hydrogen fuel?

Hydrogen fuel is significantly more efficient than gasoline, but it is also four times more expensive, costing around $16 per gallon.

Adding hydrogen improves the efficiency of the engine, but only to a certain point.

Flooding the engine with too much hydrogen reduces its efficiency and performance, according to tests.

What is the best way to add hydrogen to my car?

On a website offering a fuel hydrogenation apparatus, I came upon the following text. I’m not going to visit the website because the device they’re hawking is almost probably a rip-off:

“By adding a secondary hydrogen generator to your automobile, you can increase your gas mileage by 20-90 percent!” A supplemental hydrogen generator is straightforward to use. You put distilled water in a special canister in your car, and the water is separated into hydrogen and oxygen using electricity from your car’s battery. Because hydrogen burns so well (it’s a very combustible gas), it’s added to your car’s fuel. This minimizes the amount of gas you consume! The oxygen is mixed into the air that your car inhales. Combustion requires oxygen, and having more of it makes your car more efficient. For hundreds of miles, one gallon of water is enough to provide oxygen and hydrogen!

While there is some scientific evidence that adding hydrogen to fuel improves combustion, the persons who offer these devices are usually full of beans. More information regarding hydrogenated fuels, how they work, and how to recognize a fraud can be found here.

Is it possible to run a propane engine on hydrogen?

However, the diesel particulate filters (DPFs) that screen out particulates are costly, inconvenient to maintain, and must be updated on a regular basis. Furthermore, the selective catalytic reduction (SCR) fluids used to remove NOx from exhaust are pollutants in and of themselves, and must be replaced on a regular basis.

In summary, there are a lot of diesel engines, they’re filthy (they’re responsible for up to 50% of urban air pollution in the winter), and a lot of people are spending a lot of money to clean them up. That is a sizable market.

HyTech’s offer to that market is quite impressive: it claims that their ICA can enhance a diesel engine’s fuel efficiency by 20-30%, reduce particulate matter by 85 percent, and reduce NOx by 50-90 percent. It can produce a diesel engine that fulfills official California criteria for an emissions reduction when combined with a DPF and some SCR “Vehicle with extremely low emissions.

The cost of converting a dirty diesel engine to a somewhat clean one is roughly $10,000 installed, according to HyTech, which will pay for itself in nine months through reduced fuel and maintenance costs.

HyTech isn’t the first or only business to design an HHO additive system, but nothing else on the market can match those numbers.

The ICA achieves this efficiency thanks to a computerized timing controller that detects and analyzes the crankshaft and camshaft rotation to calculate the precise time and size of the HHO injection. Previous HHO systems flooded the engine with HHO through the air intake, but HyTech utilizes a different approach “The timer controls port injection, which uses a separate injector at each cylinder’s intake valve. Each injector squirts tiny, precisely measured jets of HHO into the cylinder just when it’s needed (about the size of a human hair).

This level of precision allows the ICA to use far less hydrogen and do so more efficiently than its competitors. More than enough is produced by a modest onboard electrolyzer.

These are bold claims, but they have held up thus far. The ICA has been listed by the EPA as a candidate for emissions-reduction technology; SGS found that the ICA increased the fuel efficiency of a FedEx delivery truck by 27.4 percent; FedEx is currently road testing the ICA on a fleet of trucks and finding 20 to 30% better fuel economy and significantly lower DPF maintenance costs. The ICA has functioned as expected in third-party testing and limited local sales around Redmond.

If technology can reliably enhance fuel economy by a third while reducing pollutants to nearly nothing, with a nine-month payback, the possibilities are endless. Clean-up is a $100 billion business, according to the corporation, because of drayage (port) trucks, freight ships, refrigerated trailers, long-haul trucks, buses, generators, and all the other dirty diesel engines out there.

The ICA does not rely on new infrastructure or government funding. It’s a way to tap into a large market, lower emissions right away, and save money for longer-term initiatives to completely replace diesel.

HyTech also wants to clean up existing cars

HyTech will launch its second product line later this year: pure hydrogen retrofits for ICE automobiles. Simply put, it will convert any engine that runs on diesel, gasoline, propane, or compressed natural gas to run entirely on hydrogen. (The company is currently working with the California Air Resources Board to get its retrofit product certified as zero-emissions.) This would allow any driver to purchase a zero-emission vehicle for a fraction of the price of a new electric or hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.

Johnson admits that if he were constructing a vehicle from the ground up, he would build it around a hydrogen fuel cell that does not require combustion, but he adds that “we have no interest in becoming a car company.” HyTech, on the other hand, seeks to clean up existing automobiles.

The electrolyzer is slightly different for a pure-hydrogen (as opposed to mixed HHO) application like this. The hydrogen is transported through a membrane, which removes any remaining oxygen or nitrogen, leaving just pure hydrogen to fuel the vehicle. (This designates the electrolyzer as a proton exchange membrane, or PEM, electrolyzer, a popular hydrogen-related variation.)

Johnson, as is his way, created his own membrane by repurposing raw materials to make a product that is more efficient and less expensive than other PEM solutions on the market.

There’s another distinction, which marks another of Johnson’s key technological advancements.

Because the power demands of a car engine are varied and can ramp up and down quickly, the system must have a small amount of hydrogen on hand as a buffer in case the electrolyzer cannot keep up.

Hydrogen is stored in conventional hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (such as the Toyota Mirai) as a highly compressed gas at roughly 8,000 psi. Compressed gas, on the other hand, brings with it a slew of problems. Compressing the gas consumes a lot of energy, it necessitates its own infrastructure, compressed-gas fueling stations are extremely expensive to construct, and compressed hydrogen is, well, explosive, so every tank full of it is a potential bomb.

Johnson is adamantly opposed to it. As a result, he’s adopted a different path. His technique stores hydrogen in an inert, non-pressurized (200 psi) liquid solution that is weakly bound to metals as “hydrides.”

The problem with hydrides has been twofold: a) generating a weak enough connection so the hydrogen may be released without expending too much energy, and b) increasing the energy density of the resultant fluid. (Until now, most hydride fluids were less energy dense than compressed hydrogen and pale in comparison to fossil fuels.) They’re too heavy for the amount of energy they provide.)

Johnson believes he has solved both issues. He won’t say what kind of hydrides he’s using, but he’s got a high enough power-to-weight ratio to beat lithium-ion batteries (which are very heavy) and a weak enough hydride bond that it can be broken using only the engine’s waste heat (no added heat or pressure required).

Furthermore, he’s been working with a team on nano-materials for hydrides, and he predicts a “huge jump in power-to-weight in the next years,” with energy density competitive with fossil fuels eventually.

Hy-retrofit Tech’s will provide a zero-emissions vehicle (ZEV) with an average range of 300 miles, equivalent to high-end electric vehicles but able to function in any existing vehicle, thanks to efficient electrolysis and efficient hydride storage. Johnson transported me to lunch in a massive hydrogen-powered Ford Raptor pickup truck when I visited HyTech’s Redmond campus.

There are two methods for “refueling the car.” The slow method is to leave it plugged in overnight, allowing the electrolyzer to fill the tank. The quickest way is to fill it with hydride solution, which can be made on site with just an electrolyzer, distilled water, and a tank, whether at home or at a filling station.

There is currently no infrastructure in place to handle such rapid refueling, although Johnson emphasizes that it is not the same as high-pressure compressed hydrogen. It’s not harmful; it creates no poisonous byproducts; it doesn’t necessitate a slew of government safety regulations; and, in principle, mom-and-pop gas stations could get a pump up and operating for very little money.

Johnson’s rather utopian idea is that, in the future, every home and company will have an electrolyzer and a full tank of bonded hydrogen, which may be used to create power for the building or to fuel hydrogen cars (more on that in phase three).

The goal, according to Johnson, is to eliminate internal combustion engines, but “it’s like quitting smoking; everyone wants to go cold turkey.” It’s simply not going to work out. The corporation will be able to reduce transportation emissions quickly by retrofitting current vehicles for a fraction of the cost of a new zero-emission vehicle.

HyTech’s holy grail: long-term, affordable energy storage

Finally, HyTech will enter the energy storage market, backed by its retrofit products. Its Scaleable Energy Storage (SES) product is aimed at competing with massive batteries such as Tesla’s Powerwall, either as on-site storage for homes and businesses or as grid-scale storage for large solar and wind farms.

The idea behind hydrogen energy storage is that, in the not-too-distant future, there will be frequent periods when wind and solar generate far more electricity than is required. We’ll be looking for methods not to waste that surplus energy because it will be dirt cheap.

“Power to gas,” or converting extra energy to hydrogen and storing it, is becoming increasingly popular.

When electricity rates are low, Weber thinks hydrogen is probably the easiest thing to make.

Some of the hydrogen might be put into existing natural gas pipes, lowering gas’s carbon intensity. Other liquid fuels could be made by combining some of them with carbon dioxide. And some of it might be immediately transformed to energy using fuel cells. “According to Levi Thompson, director of the University of Michigan’s Hydrogen Energy Technology Laboratory, stationary storage represents a fantastic prospective opportunity for hydrogen fuel cells.

The issue has been that electrolysis-based hydrogen energy storage has typically had an end-to-end efficiency of less than half that of a lithium ion battery.

The SES at HyTech works like this: The electrolyzer is powered by electricity (preferably from solar panels or wind turbines). The hydrogen is either used in a fuel cell (which Johnson built himself) or bound as hydrides and stored in a tank. When electricity is required, waste heat from the system is used to break the hydride bonds, releasing more hydrogen for the fuel cell.

Johnson has significantly increased efficiency by avoiding compression and discovering a hydride bond that is weak enough to be broken by waste heat. With another ingenious trick, he’s increased his efficiency even more. The majority of hydrogen storage is done with massive electrolyzers and fuel cells that can’t precisely scale energy production to demand. Johnson’s system is modular, with stacks of smaller electrolyzers and fuel cells that can be turned on one at a time as demand grows “With a smile, he says, “Stupid simple.”

The SES appears to behave similarly to a large battery from the outside, however there are certain distinctions and drawbacks.

On the flipside, while Johnson has significantly improved end-to-end efficiency in comparison to his competition, he still falls short of battery efficiency. At this stage, he claims the SES is around 80% efficient. Traditional lead-acid batteries are roughly 90% efficient when new, whereas lithium-ion batteries are around 98 percent efficient or more, though all batteries degrade over time. (As he develops new materials for his electrolyzers and fuel cells, Johnson expects SES efficiency to continue to rise; he believes 85 or 90 percent is within reach.)

On the plus side, the SES will outlast a battery by more than 10,000 charge-discharge cycles, compared to roughly 1,000 for a lithium-ion battery. That would bring its lifespan closer to that of a standard solar panel, allowing the two to be used together more easily.

Unlike batteries, which can’t be fully charged or discharged without degrading, the SES can go from 100 percent capacity to zero and back without harm.

And, unlike batteries, the SES is completely recyclable when it wears out. The metals are melted, reground, and reused, and the water is distilled again.

The best part is that a hydride solution can be kept eternally without needing to be maintained or losing its potential. Like compressed hydrogen, it doesn’t need to be pressurized or chilled. It does not decay in the same way that electrochemical charge does in batteries. Hydrides can be kept for as long as is required.

As a result, the SES is an excellent candidate for long-term energy storage, which is the holy grail of truly sustainable energy systems. If the electricity coming in is cheap and plentiful, the quantity of reserve energy that can be stored is theoretically unlimited.

It also means that the SES is ideal for use in a distributed energy system. It would be a dead-simple way for anyone with some solar panels to acquire a degree of energy independence, with no moving parts, sturdy components resistant to temperature and weather extremes, and 98 percent recyclability. It could be especially beneficial to off-grid areas.

Whatever HyTech’s fate, the need for hydrogen will elicit innovation

Johnson thinks about a distributed, carbon-free hydrogen economy when he has the leisure to think about it. However, the issue at hand these days is more pressing: getting HyTech up and operating.

None of the hydrogen experts I spoke with saw any major flaws in HyTech’s technical claims, but they all expressed a hard-won show-don’t-tell mistrust. Many a Next Big Thing has come and gone in the hydrogen world. History is littered with the skeletons of promising firms that failed to turn their ideas into marketable products.

Nonetheless, Hytech appears to be well-positioned, with a strong leadership team, some early finance, promising testing results, relationships with major corporations such as FedEx and Caterpillar, and a target market that has proved demand for its product. We’ll probably find out in a year or two whether they succeeded.

In any case, as the movement toward a more sustainable energy system gains traction, the demand for hydrogen will only increase. We require carbon-free fuels as well as long-term energy storage. Hydrogen fulfills both requirements.

People become brilliant when there is a major social need and money to be made. It won’t be long until others follow Johnson’s lead and make multiple stepwise breakthroughs in hydrogen technology by shopping online and tinkering in his lab. And, just as with wind and solar power, once goods reach market, economies of scale will drive costs down.

In many respects, inexpensive hydrogen is the final piece of the sustainable-energy puzzle, an energy carrier that can fill in the gaps in a system that is predominantly powered by wind and solar. Hydrogen has been written off countless times over the years, but as the world becomes more serious about decarbonization, it may finally see the light of day.

What are the drawbacks of hydrogen as an internal combustion engine fuel?

  • Because the temperature of hydrogen flames is high, NOx emissions are likewise significant.
  • It’s difficult to keep track of.
  • Bulk fuel storage pressure vessels are necessary if hydrogen is maintained in a gaseous state. If hydrogen had been retained as a cryogenic liquid, it would have been held at extremely high pressures and temperatures. The fuel tank should be well-insulated from the elements.
  • Refueling is difficult, and there is a considerable risk of detonation.
  • Safety concerns, high flammability, and the possibility of backfiring
  • Inefficient volumetric efficiency
  • When gaseous fuel is utilized in an IC engine, the fuel displaces the same volume of incoming air inside the cylinder, resulting in lower volumetric efficiency.
  • Even though electrolysis can easily produce fuel, storing and creating hydrogen with current technology is prohibitively expensive.