Understanding Challenges for H2-ICE Lubricants and Demonstrating Performance of an Engine Oil in an H2-ICE
Hydrogen internal combustion engines (H2-ICEs) are being evaluated by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) globally as a potential pathway to help lower carbon intensity in the transportation and the power generation sectors.
Even though fuel-cell and battery-electric technologies can offer higher efficiency, H2-ICEs offer several advantages for OEMs, such as retaining the existing engine architecture and hardware, whilst achieving lower carbon emissions with a shorter deployment timeframe at lower cost and higher overall reliability.
To understand the lubricant-related challenges for H2-ICEs, Chevron Oronite has conducted extensive bench tests to understand H2 – lubricant interaction under high pressures and high temperatures and leveraged those lessons in running engine tests.
In the current study, we will share some of the results of the fundamental bench-scale studies showing the effect of H2 on additive and lubricant formulations. Further, we will present preliminary findings of Oronite’s additive formulation in an H2-ICE engine test. Since H2-ICEs are not commercially available yet, we used a 7.7L natural gas engine modified to run with hydrogen fuel. The engine test conditions were designed with the objectives of accelerating water build-up in the oil to investigate subsequent effect on sludge build-up, and wear performance of key engine hardware. The used oil analysis from 525 hours of the engine test demonstrates outstanding performance on oxidation, nitration, TAN and TBN control. The end of test hardware inspection further reinforced excellent performance of our engine oil technology on wear, engine cleanliness, and emulsion/sludge performance.