ADVANCED INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE RESEARCH
Peter Van Blarigan
Sandia National Laboratories
Livermore, CA 94550
In this manuscript, research on hydrogen internal combustion engines is discussed. The
objective of this project is to provide a means of renewable hydrogen based fuel utilization. The
development of a high efficiency, low emissions electrical generator will lead to establishing a
path for renewable hydrogen based fuel utilization. A full-scale prototype will be produced in
collaboration with commercial manufacturers.
The electrical generator is based on developed internal combustion engine technology. It is able
to operate on many hydrogen-containing fuels. The efficiency and emissions are comparable to
fuel cells (50% fuel to electricity, ~ 0 NOx). This electrical generator is applicable to both
stationary power and hybrid vehicles. It also allows specific markets to utilize hydrogen
economically and painlessly.
Two motivators for the use of hydrogen as an energy carrier today are: 1) to provide a transition
strategy from hydrocarbon fuels to a carbonless society and 2) to enable renewable energy
sources. The first motivation requires a little discussion while the second one is self-evident.
The most common and cost effective way to produce hydrogen today is the reformation of
hydrocarbon fuels, specifically natural gas. Robert Williams discusses the cost and viability of
natural gas reformation with CO2 sequestration as a cost-effective way to reduce our annual CO2
emission levels. He argues that if a hydrogen economy was in place then the additional cost of
natural gas reformation and subsequent CO2 sequestration is minimal (Williams 1996).
Decarbonization of fossil fuels with subsequent CO2 sequestration to reduce or eliminate our CO2
atmospheric emissions provides a transition strategy to a renewable, sustainable, carbonless
society. However, this requires hydrogen as an energy carrier.
The objectives of this program for the year 2000 are to continue to design