Cummins Westport has begun conducting road tests of a new alternative fuel blend made of hydrogen and natural gas in an effort to cut emission levels from truck engines powered by natural gas.
Vancouver, British Columbia-based Cummins Westport has partnered with the SunLine Transit Agency in Thousand Palms, CA, to field-test two transit buses with the fuel, called HCNG.
SunLine is using two re-calibrated versions of Cummins Westport's 230-hp B Gas Plus engine to run on the HCNG fuel and plans to have them in operation by early 2003. Assuming positive results, SunLine plans to "re-power" 29 more buses and street sweepers with B Gas Plus engines designed to run on HCNG.
Cummins Westport said previous tests have shown that a blend of 20% hydrogen and 80% methane by volume, known as Hythane, can reduce emissions of oxides of nitrogen without hurting the performance or efficiency of a natural gas engine.
A recent study by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) compared emissions from current in-use diesel and compressed natural gas (CNG) fueled buses to emissions from a similar diesel-fueled bus equipped with advanced pollution controls. CARB Chairman Alan Lloyd said the test results suggest that both CNG and diesel engines need additional emission controls.