Perkins participates in Red Diesel Replacement projects

By Becky Schultz09 September 2022

Perkins Engines Company Ltd. is participating in two projects under the UK government’s Red Diesel Replacement Competition, which supports low-carbon technologies, fuels and systems for the construction and quarrying/mining sectors. Funding for the competition has been made available through the government’s £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, which looks to accelerate the commercialization of low-carbon technologies and systems.

(Photo: Perkins)

Projects that are part of the competition will build on research and development activities to improve power system efficiency while also minimizing environmental impact – further enhancing the portfolio of technologies available to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across the off-highway sectors. By complementing its already announced technology, Perkins said the projects will help to advance its engines’ capability to operate on an array of lower carbon intensity fuel types in addition to 100% hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) to EN15940 and biodiesel up to B20.

In one of the projects, Perkins is serving as the lead organization working closely with Loughborough University and Flogas in development of an internal combustion engine that runs on renewable dimethyl ether (rDME). rDME is a non-toxic aerosol propellant that can be synthesized from biomass, residues and waste.

DME fuel has several properties that make it attractive for use in diesel engines, including a very high cetane number and the ability to provide comparable energy efficiency and power ratings to traditional diesel engines. Its sootless combustion can further reduce particulate matter (PM) emissions from modern diesel engines, enabling PM limits to be achieved with simplified exhaust aftertreatment.

According to Perkins, DME can use the existing LPG infrastructure with minimal change. Flogas and Loughborough University will provide a practical demonstration of delivery and storage of DME as well as engine performance and capability.

In a second project, Perkins is partnering with Mahle Powertrain, Clean Air Power and the University of Nottingham to demonstrate a number of solutions based on ammonia and hydrogen as fuels for decarbonizing heavy-duty engines. By developing flexible fuel capability, the consortium plans to demonstrate combinations of fuels ranging from dual-fuel diesel with hydrogen and/or ammonia to pure among or hydrogen.

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