Air QualityCryoPowerEnvironment & ClimateFossil Fuels

British carbon-zero projects, supported by UK Government & InnovateUK

By February 4, 2020 No Comments

One of the biggest challenges faced by industry today, is to reduce the GHG produced by transportation & in particular large vehicles, haulage, marine & aviation.

With approximately 13% of global GHG being attributed to freight, shipping & aviation (1); there is continued pressure on these sectors to produce more logistic power, whilst also reducing their emissions.

The UK Government continue to strive forward with an active plan to reduce GHG caused by the transportation industry. With the ULEZ in London already showing an improvement in air quality & other cities across the UK planning on rolling out ban’s on diesel vehicles & in some cases banning vehicles of all types from city centres entirely; there has to be some balance struck with regards to an increasing populations needs & the continued need for our food, goods & lifestyle needs to be delivered.

With InnovateUK, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) & UK Research & Innovation supporting British innovation & enabling funding for GHG reducing transportation products; it is time for these innovations to come out of R&D & be in production & on our roads.

One such example of how BEIS & InnovateUK are supporting British business, is their recent £25.4m funding for three new carbon zero automotive projects.

The first of these three projects, featuring partners Alexander Dennis and Changan UK R&D Centre; will develop hydrogen fuel cell technologies for buses & large vehicles. Subsequent to this, they will establish a UK fuel-cell production to deliver zero-emission drivetrain solutions including large passenger cars, buses, & heavy-duty transport vehicles.

The second project, a consortium led by Equipmake, plans to address electric bus architecture & more smart energy use. “Drivetrains that are fully integrated with heating, cooling and ventilation systems will reduce energy consumption by over 30 per cent.” (2)

The third project, led by a consortium including Jaguar, Land Rover, the University of Warwick, Newcastle University, industrial partners Lyra Electronics, Fuchs Lubricants, C.Brandauer & Co. Limited, Motor Design Limited, Tata Steel & Inetic Limited; focuses on an  electric drive unit with leading efficiency, high power & torque density, which will subsequently be manufactured in the UK. (2)

Two other Government supported innovations with a clear aim to take the UK to net zero; are Dolphin N2’s CryoPower split cycle engine & the City of Liverpool’s Hydrogen Bus project.

Dolphin N2

Dolphin N2 have developed their Thermopower & CryoPower split cycle engine which promises up to 90% reduction in engine out emissions.

Diesel was chosen as the first fuel because of the available infrastructure & the emission benefits can be attained without additional infrastructure investments or change to user behaviour.  However, the technology can be adapted for a wide range of fuels including Hydrogen, Methane or synthetic fuels.

When coupled to after treatment the resulting tailpipe emission is near zero impact. The 30% reduction in fuel consumption and relatively low cost of installation, using predominantly current automotive components means that the payback periods for long haul freight are short and could be as low as one year depending on usage profile. (3)

The Dolphin N2 project has been initially well supported by a Government backed Innovate UK grant which has enabled the early test and simulation work. In December 2019, Dolphin N2 having spun-out from Ricardo Plc, were 100% acquired by CNH Industrial.

The news of the acquisition of Dolphin N2 has enabled the Dolphin N2 team to begin 2020 with a fresh vision of the future of this game changing technology & the positive environmental impact the CryoPower split cycle engine can have in global markets.

City of Liverpool Hydrogen Bus

The City of Liverpool announced that as of 2020, the Liverpool City Region will be the first place in the North of England to trial 25 hydrogen powered buses. The £6.4 million bid made to the UK Governments Office for Low Emission Vehicles, has enabled this ambitious project to come to fruition.

The bid was put forward by a consortium led by industrial gases company BOC, and including the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and Arcola Energy, working with bus-makers Alexander Dennis, and will be progressed in conjunction with Arriva and Stagecoach, as members of the city region’s Bus Alliance. (4)

By emitting nothing but water from the exhaust pipe the hydrogen bus scheme will contribute to the city regional plans both to improve air quality & work towards a zero carbon economy by 2040 (4)

The Liverpool City Region Hydrogen Bus Project will be enabled by a dedicated refuelling station being built at BOC in St Helens, which already produces hydrogen for industrial customers.

With the refuelling station able to produce up to 500kg of hydrogen every day, the far reaching aims of the project are to promote the use of hydrogen power beyond the bus scheme & add value to the argument for hydrogen passenger cars & other vehicles alike.

This is only a snapshot of the innovative engineering being spearheaded by British industry, all with one goal & one agenda; to reduce the GHG from the automotive & transport sector & help drive the UK to net zero.

Written by Katy-Jane Mason for & on behalf of Dolphin N2.