Vehicles that embed hydrogen technology into dual fuel systems are helping create a greener transport network, as part of a long term collaboration that has already saved significant harmful emissions.

Hydrogen storage experts Luxfer Gas Cylinders has supplied leading hydrogen fuel specialist ULEMCo since 2014, with the two pioneering firms collaborating to make vehicles hydrogen ready and harness the clean gas to deliver GHG emission savings.

Projects have included hydrogen-powered trucks, LGVs, refuse trucks, road sweepers and even a prototype ambulance – many already in operation within the UK.

First of it’s kind dual fuel refuse truck

In one recent initiative, a waste collection truck has been launched that combines hydrogen with non-fossil fuel HVO (hydrotreated vegetable oil), opening up the opportunity for negative carbon vehicles. It is the first dual fuel refuse truck of its kind in the UK, and will make use of Aberdeen’s hydrogen refuelling hub.

The overarching objective within the supply chain for ULEMCo is to offer options that will allow the transport industry to cost effectively decarbonise their operations, by using the existing engines in their vehicles, adapted for hydrogen fuel. 

Luxfer’s unique liner-processing technology means its hydrogen cylinders are among the highest-capacity, fastest to refill and lightest Type 3 alternative fuel cylinders in the world. These G-Stor® H2 cylinders are provided, to be slotted into retrofitted designs of converted diesel engines.

Amanda Lyne, ULEMCo Managing Director, explains: “We’ve worked with Luxfer since we founded the company in 2014 and we chose Luxfer cylinders because of the quality and service they offer. By using combustion technology that is widely understood, the transport industry can start saving GHG emissions, far quicker than waiting for the commercial viability of zero-emission options that are not widely available today.

“While a key issue is to maximise the volume of hydrogen that can be fitted into a broad spectrum of vehicles, Luxfer’s range of cylinder sizes give that crucial flexibility.”

Diesel conversion showing promise

With diesel conversions offering an accessible way for operators to kickstart their hydrogen journey, the projects Luxfer and ULEMCo have worked on together are showing huge promise.

For example, ULEMCo recently showed that one of the nine-strong fleet of hydrogen dual fuel road sweepers in Aberdeen can displace 50% of the diesel with hydrogen, including the auxiliary engine that powers the vacuum – an excellent demonstration of the potential for the technology. If this was applied to similarly-converted road sweepers across all UK Councils, it is estimated by ULEMCo that 10,000 tonnes of CO2 per year could be saved.

Jim Gregory, European Business Development Manager at Luxfer Gas Cylinders, adds: “The relationship with ULEMCo is enduring because we have a shared vision to demonstrate the possibilities of hydrogen as an alternative fuel crucial to reaching net zero goals. 

“The real issue for the transport industry is to shift from diesel cost effectively, and this is where dual fuel conversions come into their own. Of course, there remains the barrier of infrastructure and access to the green gas, which ULEMCo is helping its customers circumvent too – making hydrogen a sound proposition.”

Luxfer has an 80-year legacy in gas containment and has a specialist – and expanding – alternative fuel facility at its Colwick, Nottingham base. It is responsible for supplying hydrogen storage systems to international customers across the transport sector.