The task  0f tackling Australia’s vast distances, with very high GVM trucks is hard enough with a traditional  diesel prime mover,  so with the need for many major corporations needing to drastically reduce their transport carbon  emissions and the dilemma is exercising minds of the company strategists  across the big corporations with a need to move big loads, across vast routes.

As we all know the Pilbara, in WA is a vast region of endless red landscapes, twice the size of Great Britain and as we all know  road train multi-combinations  are vital  in achieving the task.

Holcim, which  is one of the dominant forces in the cement and concrete industry globally, has faced up to the dilemma, and along with Scania reckons it has a stop gap solution to reducing exhaust emissions.

Holcim Australia has  and continues  to use road trains to transport quarry materials from the Turner River site in WA, Newman and Nickol Bay quarries in the Pilbara region to fixed and mobile concrete batch plants and other customers, using Scania R620 V8 Euro 5 145-ton rated prime movers. Each road train hauls a payload of up to 100 tonnes in triple configurations, on haul distances from as little as 10 km, up to 600 km.

Holcim says that to help advance its ambition to reduce Scope 3 emissions by reducing diesel consumption and emissions, two prime movers were retrofitted with a HYDI Hydrogen on Demand HY2500 vertical unit that produces hydrogen on demand for controlled delivery to internal combustion engines.

Holcim says it has seen reductions in fuel consumption of up to 15 per cent, and this is only part of the benefit of the hybrid system according to Holcim’s logistics manager for aggregates Western Australia, Adam Evans.

“On top of the fuel consumption figures, excitingly, we’re seeing the additional emission reductions of 17per cent less carbon dioxide (CO2), 80 per cent lower diesel particulate matter (DPM), 22 per cent lower nitrogen oxides (NOX), and 25 per cent lower carbon monoxide (CO),” Evans noted.

“Holcim has seen fuel performance savings estimated at 15 per cent when hauling payloads up to 100-tonnes in three-trailer combinations. The Scania onboard management system confirms these figures. The reductions in fuel burn and reductions in emissions, is entirely in line with our aim at Scania to reduce emissions during the entire working lives of our products,” said Scania Australia’s  general manager for  Mining, Robert Taylor .

Holcim says it is set to install HYDI systems in two additional prime movers as well as some of its contractor fleet throughout Western Australia.

“We are also exploring options to have HYDI units installed on other equipment including diesel generators and heavy mining equipment,” said Evans.

According to Holcim, the HYDI unit produces hydrogen from distilled water using electrolysis via a proton exchange membrane. The unit draws a low electrical input from the host engine while in operation. Hydrogen supplements the diesel fuel to create a cleaner and more complete combustion process with the amount of hydrogen produced optimised for the capacity and application of the engine.

The new technology, which has been developed in Australia across more than a decade,  apparrently delivers improved machinery performance by increasing torque, a reduction in fuel consumption, cleaner burn that reduces engine soot and extends oil and filter service intervals, and lower harmful emissions – including DPM, CO2 and CO. The system provides the capability to transition heavy, diesel-powered machinery into cleaner, more cost-efficient equipment at a fraction of the cost of replacement.

“HYDI’s technology harnesses the benefits of hydrogen in an efficient, affordable and sophisticated way scaled to apply to multiple applications,” said  managing director of HYDI, John Wilson,

Scania says it has been  a committed and enthusiastic partner in the trial and it is honouring the original repair and maintenance package provided with the vehicles.

“Scania stepped up to the project, made sure we had all the vehicle and system information needed for a smooth installation of the HYDI units, and are eager to help us extend the project even further,” said Evans.

The HYDI says its Hydrogen on Demand system can be simply, quickly and relatively inexpensively integrated into the existing diesel technology of Scania vehicles.

“In Australia we have to say that realistically the general availability of reliable, affordable hydrogen as a fuel for heavy haulage is still some way off, particularly regarding use in remote mining operations,”  said Scania’s Robert Taylor.

“As a result, the HYDI Hydrogen on Demand solution does appear to be providing a real-world and affordable solution for our customers who want or need to make an immediate reduction in fuel burn and their carbon footprint emissions across their transport functions,”  Taylor added.

Holcim says the investment and installation of the new, transitional technology into its fleet, and  highlights its commitment to reduce its Scope 3 emissions on the journey to reducing absolute Scope 3 Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions 90 per cent by 2050 from a 2020 base year.