Libertine Holdings PLC (a developer of clean, highly efficient and fuel-flexible Linear Generator products) has been awarded £423,260 grant funding by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) as part of the first phase of its Red Diesel Replacement Competition.
Funding will be used to support further development with MAHLE Powertrain on the decarbonisation of heavy-duty vehicle powertrains, and will finance fuel system adaptations to demonstrate Hydrogen (H2) and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fuel flexibility.
The 11-month project focuses on the modification of an existing 2-cylinder as opposed to a free-piston Linear Generator, already developed by Libertine and MAHLE Powertrain as part of the UK Government-funded Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) Phase 2 programme, through which Libertine was awarded £2.1m in funding last year.
The planned modifications will demonstrate the flexibility of Linear Generators, adapting the technology to allow it to run on blends of CNG and H2 ranging from 100% CNG to 100% H2, moving towards the replacement of red diesel in the mining and construction sectors.
A linear generator sub-system capable of operating on 100% H2 could enable the decarbonisation of construction and mining equipment, in the UK and globally, where full battery electrification is not practical. Compatibility with CNG fuel, already in widespread use, has the potential to accelerate the adoption of such powertrains in advance of deployment of a hydrogen refuelling infrastructure.
Through demonstrating fuel flexibility from CNG through to H2, the Linear Generator has the potential to shorten the path towards net-zero and beyond, establishing it as a long-term solution for transitioning to clean energy as fuel sources evolve.
Furthermore, the ability to utilise lower purity H2 and H2/CNG blends, whilst delivering ultra-low NOX performance, de-risks technology adoption for end-users and reduces the barriers toward full H2 adoption.
These characteristics have major benefits across UK off-highway sectors, allowing for a faster, lower investment transition to net-zero, but importantly also offer a major advantage in export markets where grid and H2 re-fuelling infrastructure is less mature.
Sam Cockerill, Chief Executive of Libertine, said, “We believe Libertine’s technology will play an essential role on the path to Net Zero for heavy-duty powertrains, complementing battery electrification with clean power from renewable fuels.”