A Chinese manufacturer of commercial transport engines, China Yuchai, says it’s producing a hydrogen-fueled internal-combustion engine. According to Engine Technology International , “the YCK05 has achieved stable operation during a recent demonstration at the Beijing Institute of Technology” thanks to innovations like “high-pressure multi-point inlet air injection, high-efficiency, low-inertia turbocharging and lean-burn combustion.”
That said, hydrogen-fueled ICEs are not completely emission-free. Yes, like a fuel cell, the main by-product of combustion is simply water, with virtually no greenhouse gas emissions.
However, as Hydrogen Fuel News points out, ICE engines run in oil and will burn a tiny amount of lubricant, which will produce a small amount of NOx. Though the amount of nitrogen oxides produced are much lower than in gasoline- or diesel-fueled ICEs, the only true zero-emission vehicles powered by hydrogen are fuel-cell electric vehicles.
Speaking of fuel cells, the first FCEV-powered truck competed in the Dakar Rally this year. And, by “compete,” I mean it did a short 12-mile demonstration run (probably because of the lack of a refueling infrastructure). Nonetheless, the Guassin truck is impressive.
Two 300-kilowatt — that’s 402-horsepower — electric motors and 80 kilograms of hydrogen were good enough for 250 km (155 miles) of range at race speeds. Perhaps more impressively, it can be completely refueled in just 20 minutes. Commercial versions of the hydrogen truck raced at the Dakar rally are slated to become available along with Gaussin’s all-electric big rigs later in 2022.