HomeNewsThe engine that's turning America upside down: it's 100 years old and...

The engine that’s turning America upside down: it’s 100 years old and runs on a fuel we’ve just invented

Innovation is knocking on the automotive industry's door with the development of hydrogen-powered engines by Achates Power and Argonne National Laboratory, marking a revolution in vehicle propulsion. This project, backed by significant funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, promises to push back the boundaries of efficiency and sustainability.

As the automotive industry moves towards greener solutions, Achates Power, in collaboration with Argonne National Laboratory, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, is breaking new ground by redefining the century-old concept of opposed piston engines for the hydrogen age. The initiative promises to radically transform the performance and environmental impact of combustion-powered vehicles.

The redesign of opposed piston engines

Achates Power’s reinvention of opposed piston engines aims to adapt them for use with hydrogen, a clean fuel that could drastically reduce vehicle CO2 emissions. By optimizing the design for hydrogen, these engines offer a viable, environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional diesel and gasoline engines, without compromising on power or efficiency.

The benefits of hydrogen

Considered the fuel of the future, hydrogen offers several key advantages, including clean combustion producing only water, high energy density and the possibility of production from renewable sources. Hydrogen-powered vehicles equipped with Achates Power’s new engine design could therefore play a crucial role in reducing the transport sector’s carbon footprint.

Strategic funding for innovation

The project benefits from $133 million in funding from the US Department of Energy’s Office of Vehicle Technologies, underlining the strategic importance of developing alternative propulsion technologies. This financial support has enabled significant advances in research and development, positioning Achates Power and Argonne at the forefront of hydrogen engine innovation.

Impact and outlook

The new design of opposed-piston engines could revolutionize not only the automotive industry but also other sectors dependent on combustion engines, offering a cleaner, more efficient alternative. As the world strives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, innovations such as Achates Power and Argonne demonstrate hydrogen’s potential to contribute to a sustainable energy transition.

By taking an innovative approach and benefiting from substantial government support, Achates Power and the Argonne National Laboratory are redefining what the future of mobility could look like. Their work on hydrogen-powered opposed-piston engines could well mark the beginning of a new era for combustion vehicles, combining performance and respect for the environment.

Significant funding for this project

This milestone was made possible thanks to the funding and support provided by the US Department of Energy’s Office of Vehicle Technologies. With an allocation of $133 million for research into advanced vehicle technologies, the project was able to carry out extensive testing and demonstrate the viability of using hydrogen as a fuel in vehicle engines.

Thanks to the financial support granted to the project, Argonne scientists were able to devote substantial resources to the research and development of this innovative technology. This financial investment provided a solid basis for exploring new approaches, carrying out exhaustive tests and continuously improving the process.

In addition, it has facilitated collaboration with experts from various disciplines and the acquisition of state-of-the-art equipment, further strengthening the team’s research capacity. Taking into account the engine’s proven ability to run on hydrogen, the team succeeded in generating energy with a higher power output than conventional engines.

Alan, editor-in-chief, born in 1964 in a picturesque small town in the south, has always been fascinated by the roar of engines and the shine of car bodies. From a young age, he spent hours flipping through his father's car magazines, dreaming of the cars he would one day drive. After obtaining his high school diploma, Alan decided to pursue his passion for automobiles by studying journalism, with the hope of combining his two loves: writing and cars.


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