Enchanted Rock receives grant to create ‘breakthrough engine’

30 January 2024

On 25 January Enchanted Rock, a provider of electrical resiliency microgrids, received a $2.1 million grant through the Hydrogen Blending and Lower Oxides of Nitrogen Emissions in Gas-Fired Generation (HyBLOX) programme administered by the California energy Commission. Under this grant, Enchanted Rock and the University of California Riverside will work on developing and advancing technologies that can significantly reduce greenhouse gas and other emissions in natural gas generators without compromising electric reliability and affordability. 

The use of hydrogen and natural gas blend for fuelling generators shows promise for reducing emissions and improving efficiency. With this grant, Enchanted Rock will further advance its reciprocating engine technology, identifying the optimal blend of natural gas and hydrogen to operate the generator while maximising performance and minimising emissions. This will allow the carbon reduction benefits of hydrogen to be more rapidly realized by using existing gas delivery infrastructure and will include significant CO, CO2 and unburned CH4 emissions reductions.

As part of the grant, UCR's College of Engineering-Centre for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT) will take a major role in the emissions and combustion performance measurement scope. The UCR team led by professor Georgios Karavalakis will utilise state-of-the-art instrumentation to characterise pollutant formation when using higher concentrations of hydrogen in natural gas and to better understand the potential to reduce harmful pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions from engines operated with zero-carbon fuels. Palomar College will host an additional field demonstration site.

"Hydrogen is one of the 'low-hanging fruit' solutions to decarbonise our transportation system and other sectors where emissions are hard to abate, and it can serve as a zero-carbon green fuel for internal combustion off-road and highway engines," said professor Karavalakis.

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