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Cummins Inc. working on zero-emission engine that uses hydrogen fuel rather than a battery

by Riya Mishra

Date & Time: Jan 19, 2023 11:00 AM

Read Time: 3 minute



Cummins is a company with roots going back 100 years that is advancing its technology in the production, manufacture, and design of engine generators and other related products. Currently, this multinational company is working on manufacturing an engine that doesn’t function with traditional fuel but with hydrogen fuel. The company is always working on producing alternate solutions in order to reduce the emissions of fossil fuels from the engines. And using hydrogen as an alternative is taking place in almost all sectors.

What exactly are these hydrogen engines, and how do they work?

Hydrogen engines function the same way as traditional engines, but their construction is different, and hydrogen is consumed as fuel instead of the traditional fuels we are familiar with. The methods differ because the technology used varies in carrying hydrogen and converting it into energy. These work with fuel cells and internal combustion engines. As the name implies, fuel cells are cells that convert the hydrogen present inside into electricity, which is then used to power the engine. And internal combustion engines, which are used for hydrogen engines, first burn the hydrogen, and the energy released is directly used to create work inside the engine. However, the main distinction between internal combustion engines and fuel cells in hydrogen engines is that internal combustion engines are modified versions of well-known gasoline combustion engines that, as the name implies, internally burn, whereas fuel cells involve an electrochemical setup involving a couple of redox reactions. And in fuel cells, compressed hydrogen is used. Even though these two types work differently, they have the same amount of efficiency, and moreover, these technologies are something with which the manufacturing industries are familiar; they are different from the traditional methods with slight modifications.

How do these engines bring change?

Nowadays, increasing pollution is a very serious problem, and the emission of unburned hydrocarbons from various vehicles is one of the reasons why. This is also why many businesses are working to find an alternative solution to this problem. Hydrogen is the most abundantly available gas on earth, and its usage is harmless. The usage of hydrogen technology is changing at an alarming rate. An engine that produces the same results as a traditional engine is a reliable solution to controlling pollution, and the fuel that is being used is a renewable source of energy because it is available naturally and its usage doesn’t reduce the amount of quantity present in the environment. The technology used in building these engines is even familiar in the industry, so it is not a difficult task to adapt.

Applications

According to Cummins Inc., these hydrogen engines are more likely to be suitable for medium and heavy-sized vehicles and also be a part of the machinery of vehicles used for construction, agriculture, and ships. As construction machinery involves the release of unburned hydrocarbons, the use of hydrogen engines is highly appreciable. 

Since this is more efficient and has fewer potential challenges compared to other technologies, These engines can also be used in power generation machinery, which converts the consumed energy into power. For example, this would be a better alternative engine for generators than traditional diesel-run generators.

After learning everything there is to know about hydrogen engines, we need to know that Cummins Inc., as previously stated, is working on manufacturing hydrogen engines despite a few challenges. Their main goal is to create zero-emission technology, and hydrogen is one of the most common solutions without damaging nature and working efficiently. Hydrogen fuels are a new technology that is still in its early stages, but with the right amount of research and innovation, this technology is going to create wonders. Using something that is almost always available and solving a problem by taking small steps at a time is something we are seeing in emerging technologies. We are taking small but efficient steps toward solving the problems around us. And we are not far from reaching our goal of creating a pollution-free environment. Even though there is much groundwork to be done, it is preferable to make a small change that benefits people now rather than no change at all.

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