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Saturday, 25 June 2011

Hydrogen internal combustion engine

Hydrogen internal combustion engine

Hydrogen is an attractive transportation fuel in three important ways: it is the least polluting fuel that can be used in an internal combustion engine.  It is potentially available wherever there is water and a clean source of power.  The data presented in the table show that when 1 gram of hydrogen burns it yields more energy than the same amount of conventional fuels.  The principle combustion product of hydrogen is water.  Hydrogen combustion vehicles do not produce any carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, particulates, sulphur oxides, ozone, lead, smoke, benzene or carbon dioxide or other ‘greenhouse gases’.  The only pollutant of concern is NOx which is formed, as in all internal combustion engines, from nitrogen taken from the air during combustion.  It is thought that an ultra-lean engine would produce very little NOx. 
 
Energy produced when a gram of fuel is combusted.
Fuel
Energy Produced During Combustion
/kJ g-1
Hydrogen gas (H2)
143
Methane gas (CH4)
56
Petrol (octane, C8H18)
48
Coal (carbon, C)
33
Ethanol (C2H5OH)
30
Methanol (CH3OH)
23
Carbohydrates (e.g. C6H12O6)
16
Carbon monoxide gas (CO)
10

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