Onboard implementation of an ultracompact hydrogengenerator for efficiency and emissions benefits in IC engines

Period of Performance: 08/01/2016 - 07/31/2018


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Precision Combustion, Inc.
410 Sackett Point Road Array
North Haven, CT 06473
Firm POC
Principal Investigator


Reduce United States petroleum dependency by developing advanced combustion engines that can costeffectively improve the performance of vehicle technologies. A 5% net improvement in fuel economy would imply savings of about 7 billion gallons of gasoline per year. Experimentally and analytically demonstrate improved efficiency and reduced emissions in gasolinefueled light passenger vehicles. Precision Combustion, Inc. is developing an onboard hydrogen generator that could be used in new vehicles and retrofitted to existing engines to enable ultralean engine operation – one of the key combustion strategies being pursued by the Vehicle Technologies Office. During Phase I, a gasoline reforming reactor was developed. It was integrated and tested with an engine at an external research laboratory. The testing indicated Net Fuel Consumption improvement, stable engine operation at extended lean limit for further fuel economy gains, and significantly reduced emissions of Oxides of nitrogen, hydrocarbons and Carbon monoxide. During Phase II Precision Combustion, Inc. will optimize the onboard hydrogen generator, demonstrate additional Net Specific Fuel Consumption improvement, and confirm performance improvements in a modern engine in collaboration with a Tier 1 partner. The proposed effort will result in the development of a practical, costeffective and efficient system that could be readily integrated into modern engines for dilute gasoline combustion, helping to enable achievement of very high mpg targets. Success in introducing the system into commercial automotive engines would provide a broad base of applications ranging from power generation to locomotive and shipboard applications. Followon funding from a Tier 1 supplier to expand on the Phase I effort highlights interest, reduces implementation risk and provides credibility of the approach. Key Words: leanburn engine, fuel efficiency, automotive engine, spark ignited gasoline engine, hydrogen, onboard. In order to decrease United States reliance on foreign energy sources and mitigate climate change, highly efficient automotive gasoline fueled engines need to be developed. Precision Combustion, Inc. will use its novel, ultracompact reformer technology to solve a major roadblock for these engines towards enabling Department of Energy’s objectives for significantly improving fleet average fuel consumption with reduced emissions.