For many years, I ran a haulage company, operating a fleet of trucks across the UK. With the introduction of engine emission controls, I was not convinced that the system adopted by the UK government was the proper answer. Investing in a government-approved hydrogen system, I had it fitted to one of the company’s truck engines to test it out – it didn’t take long before the vehicle became unserviceable, creating all sorts of problems for drivers. On a mission to engineer a hydrogen system that would work reliably, I became involved in hydrogen technology. As a result, Hydrox Solutions was formed in 2009. The company specializes in engine emission reduction.
What we breathe in every day contains harmful emissions from a variety of sources, including cars, trucks, buses and ships’ engines. Despite initiatives introduced in urban areas – such as the shift towards cleaner heavy-duty diesel vehicles and low-emissions vehicles and fuels – it is hard to see whether anything is actually working.
Research by the World Health Organization estimated that, in 2012, outdoor air pollution in both cities and rural areas caused 3.7 million premature deaths worldwide per year. Following the smog in April of 2014, this was revised to 7 million, with many deaths attributed to exposure to small particulate matter of 10µ or less, which causes cardiovascular and respiratory disease, and cancers.
Without proper direction from the government, it can be argued that this issue is quite simply being brushed under the carpet. In fact it has been intimated that the air quality in London hasn’t improved at all since the introduction of the low-emission zone.
Current solutions for the reduction of particulate emissions from engines in trucks and buses involve exhaust filtration – particulates are collected in a filter, and when that filter is full, the engine management system injects more fuel into the system to burn off the contents into the atmosphere at high temperature.
Evidence has emerged that such particulate filters are not working and, in fact, can cause an engine serious damage, leaving the driver stranded and his company facing huge bills. In addition, particulate matter is not actually reduced; it just builds up in the exhaust to be released into the atmosphere in one large black cloud as the filtration system tries to clear itself.
Shipping has also employed emission-busting technology called exhaust scrubbing. For it to be effective, this technology must be fitted near the engine, in order to generate the heat needed to create the hydrogen. However, the equipment is so large that it is fitted some distance outside the engine room, rendering the equipment practically useless.
Theoretically, it has been recognized for years that the introduction of hydrogen into the combustion chamber of any IC engine has a beneficial effect. However, hydrogen systems have attracted bad publicity due to exaggerated claims from some manufacturers of incredible improvements in fuel efficiency and reductions in CO2 – often without documented proof. Despite this, it is widely accepted that the basic technology is sound.
Increases in the efficiency of all types of internal combustion engines can be gained by improving the atomization and, thus, the efficient burning of the incoming fuel charge. What Hydrox Solutions proved was that the introduction of a small amount of hydrogen to the mixture achieved this effect.
For the past five years, Hydrox Solutions has developed (and now patented) a unique electronic device to the point where it is now a practical, mass-market product with quantifiable benefits.
This computerized control system effectively controls the production of hydrogen. The hydro cell will not burn out, output is controlled and the technology has a long shelf life.
Taking up little more space than the average car battery, the system can be easily fitted to commercial vehicles of all types, and to any system working with a diesel plant, such as agricultural, automotive, construction and marine equipment. Requiring minimal servicing, the system produces hydrogen only when the engine is running, thus eliminating perceived problems associated with the dangers of storing hydrogen gas.
Through controlled and documented independent tests conducted at Millbrook, this electronic device has been proven to reduce carcinogenic particulate emissions from an already-efficient euro 5-rated diesel truck engine by a consistent and repeatable 22%. This is a first for industry applications.
What Hydrox now hopes is that the market will sit up and take notice, even as the world seems content to bury its head in the sands. Whilst the company won’t make false claims of fantastic fuel savings, Hydrox can genuinely give industry a much needed emission-reduction device.