About a year ago, in 2009 Shell Oil started injecting nitrogen into their gasoline. According to Shell, “Nitrogen is a key element of the active cleaning molecule in the new fuel, making it significantly more stable at higher temperatures common in modern engines, such as direct fuel-injection gasoline engines.”
But, this leads me to the question of doesn’t this enrichment lead to more nitrous oxide coming out the tailpipe? Now this laughing gas (N2O) is no laughing matter as it is also one of the greenhouse gases contributing to global warming.
So, a company called ACTA SpA is taking a different approach by injecting hydrogen into diesel fuel to help long haul truck drivers increase mileage by 17-percent. This hydrogen injection unit pays for itself in 6 months and not only will it cut down on fuel consumption (thereby greenhouse gases) but it will save money at the pump as well.
According to ACTA about its new hydrogen injection unit, “The tests took place in Verona at Car Diesel S.p.A., one of the largest independent test centres for fuel consumption and engine performance in Northern Italy. A new Volvo earth mover truck, fitted with a 7.2-litre capacity, 280HP engine (D7E280), compliant with Euro 5 emission standards, was tested at 80-percent of its power with hydrogen gas injected to enrich the fuel, and the fuel consumption was compared to the same test conditions without hydrogen injection.
“The Company estimates that the reduction achieved in consumption represents a net fuel saving of over €6,000 per annum for an average long-distance HGV, which would represent a payback period of only six months, based upon Acta’s anticipated commercial pricing for this system. These results are an important technical validation of the data obtained by the Company in its own laboratory, in a previous independent engine performance test, and in road tests.”
Unlike many emerging technology companies, ACTA is starting to see a profit on its hydrogen generators which are being used to both produce and store renewable energy on a large scale and to help diesel trucks attain higher mileage.
Sure there will be skeptics to this new technology. But, validation from independent lab tests from a center with an excellent reputation is a good start where even a denier will find a hard time in quibbling with the results.