Hydrogen London member, ULEMCo, has been selected to lead a collaborative project that promises to result in significant carbon reduction and ultra-low air quality emissions for thousands of vehicles in China within the next 10 years.

ULEMCo has received grant funding via Innovate UK from the cross Government Newton Fund. The Fund uses science and innovation partnerships to promote the economic development and welfare of countries overseas.

This £2m business-led, 24-month project will investigate the practical challenges of developing mass market hydrogen (H2) fuelled vehicles for China, especially commercial vehicles. It will explore novel routes to ‘green’ H2 production, and relevant H2 storage approaches designed to meet the specific market challenges in China.

ULEMCo will work with partners the University of Liverpool (UoL) and two Chinese organisations: The Wuhan New Energy Institute (WNEI) of Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST) and Hubei Swan Coatings, a premier Chinese business.

The Chinese government has prioritised the need to decarbonise energy and address air quality problems through the use of H2 energy from renewables and into vehicles. H2 energy addresses the improved air quality and decarbonisation challenges for energy supply in China.

The project will optimise photo-catalysts using high throughput robotics at the UoL, in collaboration with HUST, into a scaled production system capable of making significant volumes of H2 vehicle fuel. It will also develop high surface area materials for the storage of this H2 and its incorporation into purpose designed on-board fuel storage.

ULEMCo will use its capability for safe conversion of commercial vehicles into dual fuel H2 / diesel combustion, and develop their approach for a better than EURO VI emission standard vehicle suitable for Chinese markets.

The project will combine a new engine control approach, H2 selective catalysts and the low cost storage system into a mass production retrofit conversion kit for light and heavy duty commercial vehicles.

Paul Turner, Technical Director of ULEMCo, “This is a real opportunity to work with excellent research partners both here and in China as well as opening up a potentially huge market for our commercial dual fuel approach in China. More broadly, this is a real benefit to the UK in the post-Brexit days ahead.”

shanghai skyline in smog