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A Perspective on Hythane Fuel for a Sustainable Future
ISSN: 2640-642X, e-ISSN: 2640-6438
Published May 31, 2022 by SAE International in United States
Citation: Balakrishnan, N., Chelladorai, P., and Briggs, H., "A Perspective on Hythane Fuel for a Sustainable Future," SAE J. STEEP 3(2):173-186, 2022, https://doi.org/10.4271/13-03-02-0014.
Mankind’s quest for clean alternative energy sources pushes the boundaries of science and technology every passing day. Increasing environmental and human health concerns caused by conventional fuels underscores the importance of identifying an energy source which is sustainable in terms of production, emissions, and wide application. Hythane (hydrogen-methane gas) is a contender for applications ranging from transportation and combined heating-power generation to cooking. In land transportation, the use of gaseous hythane for internal combustion engines shows better performance, enhanced combustion, and lower emission than conventional liquid hydrocarbon fuels. The use of liquefied Natural Gas (NG) and hydrogen in aircraft and ships is a steppingstone to the wide-scale use of hythane in air, sea, and rail transportation sectors which could lower emissions and operating costs. Compared to burning methane alone, the increased combustion temperatures and lower emissions by burning a methane/hydrogen mix provides an advantage for the use of hythane in combined heat-power generation as well. Hythane is also a suitable fuel for cooking needs, showing fewer harmful emissions compared to most conventional cooking fuels. Studies on public opinion show that affordably priced alternative fuels, such as hythane, can gain quicker and wider acceptance. As “Hythane” seems to fit the criteria of sustainable production and wide applicability, this article is a perspective on the usage of hythane for enabling a smooth transition toward net-zero carbon goals.