What is it about?

Using a prechamber to ignite a spark ignition engine brings benefits because it leads to very fast combustion. Using methane (natural gas, biogas, synthetic natural gas), passenger car sized engines can achieve efficiencies of more than 45%. Adding comparably small amounts of hydrogen to methane leads to even better efficiencies and less emissions (and thus a simpler exhaust gas aftertreatment).

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Why is it important?

Methane and hydrogen are very good and synergetic fuels for internal combustion engines. Methane is very hard to ignite, hydrogen is easy to ignite.

Perspectives

As both, hydrogen and methane, can be produced in practically unlimited amounts using renawable pathways, efficient conversion technologies are key to keep the costs down. In several world regions, methane and hydrogen are regarded as ideal renawable chemical energy carriers, especially using power-to-gas technologies operated with excess electricity from fluctuating renewables (photovoltaics, wind).

Dr.sc.techn. ETH Patrik Soltic
Empa

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Efficiency and raw emission benefits from hydrogen addition to methane in a Prechamber–Equipped engine, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, July 2020, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2020.06.123.
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