Ford Motor Company recently filed a patent for a combustion engine that will run on hydrogen, Motor1 reports. The patent isn’t like your normal hydrogen-powered vehicle which uses a propulsion system that converts energy stored as hydrogen to electricity via a fuel cell. The patent Ford filed is for a turbocharged combustion engine that runs on hydrogen.
Muscle Cars and Truck, which initially discovered and reported on the patent, noted that on paper, Ford’s engine should be capable of operating across a wide range of air/fuel lambda, which is the Greek letter used to represent a fuel’s stoichiometric value as 1.00, with values depending on torque demands. MCT also noted that internal exhaust gas recirculation and valve timing will be used to control combustion.
MCT quickly touched upon the importance of the stoichiometric value of a fuel, which is the ratio by which all of the fuel is mixed with all of the oxygen to produce a competitive burn. Notably, Ford’s new method of turbocharged hydrogen will explore lambda values in excess of 2.00. This means that the new engine would be able to operate in an extremely lean state and use more than double the amount of air required for the stoichiometric combustion of hydrogen. You can read more about this here.
In the patent, Ford also claimed that the hydrogen combustion engine could be part of a hybrid powertrain and showed an example that included a motor-generator unit placed between the engine and transmission. However, Ford said that it could be used in a parallel, a series, or a series-parallel hybrid vehicle.
The patent only covers Ford’s method of combusting and controlling the hydrogen mix, and the company will have its work cut out for it by creating an engine design that is able to use this method.
The patent also includes direct injection for delivering hydrogen to the cylinders, which could produce up to 15% more power than a gas engine.