Sometimes it seems researchers are considering any possible technology in the engine of the future. Hydrogen Engine Center, Inc. (HEC), which we recently covered for its work with hydrogen ICEs, announced today that they're working with Sawtelle & Rosprim, Inc. to design and build the world's first Ammonia Fueled Irrigation Pump System for hydrogen engines. A prototype ammonia-powered engine that uses Sawtelle's pump technologies is being designed to run 24 hours a day and will likely be tested in California during the 2007 irrigation season, with sales starting in California sometime in 2008. The two companies believe ammonia hydrogen engines will meet California's new emissions requirements, which are scheduled to go into effect in 2010.
The idea behind using ammonia is that the chemical is safe to store, is easy to get (it's the second most prevalent chemical in the world, HEC wants you to know) and contains more hydrogen per cubic foot than liquid hydrogen. HEC President Ted Hollinger, who was formerly Director of Engineering at Ford Motor Company and Vice President of the Power Conversion Group at Ballard Power Systems, calls ammonia the "other hydrogen" and has been promoting ammonia as a hydrogen source for years (he gave a presentation on ammonia and hydrogen ICEs in 2004). HEC says that ammonia stores like propane, contains no carbon and there is an ammonia infrastructure already in place thanks to the chemical's use in agriculture.

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[Source: Sawtelle & Rosprim, Inc.]

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