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Mahle, Liebherr develop active pre-chamber for hydrogen ICE

  • Magazine Article
  • 21TOFHP12_05
Published December 01, 2021 by SAE International in United States
  • English

While there is limited scope for internal-combustion engines (ICE) operating on conventional diesel, gasoline and natural gas in a “Net Zero” world, there could be a place for hydrogen-fueled ICEs, either as an interim power source while hydrogen fuel cells are fully developed, or as a power source where it would be difficult to electrify in the given location.

Hydrogen, however, has properties that make it challenging as a straight replacement for diesel or gasoline. The specialist engineering consultancy Mahle has been working with Liebherr Machines Bulle SA on resolving the issues surrounding hydrogen-fueled engines. “The challenge has been to get it to run with stable combustion without resorting to reductions in compression ratios to avoid engine knock and pre-ignition. Our common work with Liebherr suggests we have the answer,” Mike Bunce, head of research for Mahle Powertrain US, told Truck & Off-Highway Engineering.