British engineering and environmental company Ricardo has developed a hydrogen-fuelled combustion engine that could offer a renewable, economic and durable technology solution to accelerate zero carbon emissions in heavy duty trucks, off-highway machines and marine vessels.

Hydrogen combustion engines are essentially modified versions of a conventional internal combustion engine and completely different to hydrogen fuel cells. Ricardo will be testing its prototype with its long-term combustion engine research partner, the University of Brighton, at the university’s engine development facility.

Drawing on the company’s track record in engine development, and hydrogen technology integration, the test programme will evaluate the performance, efficiency and emissions of the engine to assess its feasibility as a future production multi-cylinder engine.

Adrian Greaney, Director of Technology and Digital at Ricardo Automotive and Industrial EMEA Division said, “Green hydrogen has a critical role to play in our future energy and transport systems, particularly in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from hard to decarbonise sectors such as long-haul trucks, off-highway machines and marine. This exciting project with the University of Brighton on hydrogen engine technology sits alongside our developments in hydrogen fuel cell systems to deliver cost effective, clean and efficient solutions for our global clients.”

According to Dr Penny Atkins, Deputy Director of the Advanced Engineering Centre at the University of Brighton, hydrogen combustion engines could offer a vital medium-term solution to support decarbonisation in the heavy duty sector.