Cornwall Council has been awarded a £236,650 grant to trial innovative new technology with the potential to reduce vehicle emissions and improve air quality.

The grant has been awarded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) as part of this year’s Air Quality Grant scheme.

Cornwall Council and CORMAC will be working with Water Fuel Engineering Ltd on the trial. Water Fuel engineering have pioneered the development and production of autonomous electrolysers that split water into hydrogen and oxygen and use the hydrogen as a fuel. The electrolysers can be used in vehicles alongside conventional fuels such as diesel, petrol or LPG to save fuel and reduce emissions.

The trial will involve retro-fitting the electrolysers to ten Cornwall Council and CORMAC fleet vehicles, including road sweepers, tippers, vans and lorry mounted cranes. As the vehicles carry out their normal work, their emissions of nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter and carbon will be monitored to measure the reductions achieved by using the electrolysers. Cornwall Council is ideally placed for a trial of this kind, as its vehicles operate in a range of urban and rural environments.

Geoff Brown, Cornwall Council’s Portfolio Holder for Communities, said: “This grant funded trial is excellent news for Cornwall. Nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter play a role in many of the UK’s health challenges, so anything that helps to reduce these pollutants is very welcome.

“If the trial is successful, this technology has the potential to be widely used to convert cars and lorries and reduce emissions from many of the older vehicles on our roads, which could make a big difference to air quality in Cornwall’s seven Air Quality Management Areas.”

Phil Davies, Water Fuel Engineering’s Marketing Director, said: “We’re delighted to have the opportunity to work with Cornwall Council in this ambitious and pioneering project. Poor air quality is a concern in the UK and reducing or eliminating the emissions from essential utility vehicles is the driving force behind our HydroGen electrolysers.”

Story posted 23 February 2017