• JCB Launch New Hydrogen Combustion Engine

Hydrogen Fuel

JCB Launch New Hydrogen Combustion Engine

Mar 22 2023

JCB, a leading construction and agricultural equipment manufacturer, is set to debut its groundbreaking hydrogen combustion engine at the Conexpo 2023 show in Las Vegas. This innovative zero-carbon emissions solution has the potential to revolutionize the construction equipment sector and contribute to a greener future. JCB's hydrogen combustion engine currently powers prototype versions of their backhoe loader and Loadall telescopic handler. 

Over the past 25 years, JCB has been committed to reducing emissions in its products. The company's latest diesel engines have achieved a 97% reduction in NOx emissions and a 98% reduction in particulate matter since 1999. JCB has also produced the world's first battery electric mini excavator and boasts the largest electric line-up in the construction industry with its E-TECH range. 

While JCB has made significant strides in electric and fuel-cell technology, the company believes hydrogen engines can provide an inexpensive, emissions-free alternative that utilizes existing combustion technology. Hydrogen engines offer a simpler solution for heavy-duty machinery, such as excavators and backhoe loaders, which require extensive battery systems for electrification. 

The hydrogen engine developed by JCB has significant advantages over diesel or gasoline counterparts. The hydrogen fuel used in the engine emits only steam, resulting in zero CO2 emissions at the point of use. Furthermore, JCB's prototype backhoe loader, equipped with the hydrogen motor, can perform all the tasks of its diesel-powered counterpart.  

One of the challenges of hydrogen engines is the production of nitrogen oxides (NOx) due to high operating temperatures. JCB engineers have addressed this issue by running the engine on a lean fuel mixture, which allows for the same torque figures without running the engine too rich. Selective catalytic reduction, a common practice in modern diesel engines, is another method for eliminating NOx emissions. 

As the world moves towards green energy, hydrogen is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to electric vehicles (EVs). Countries like the United States and India are investing heavily in green hydrogen policies, and the development of industrial-scale electrolyzers is underway across the globe. The trucking industry in Europe is also considering hydrogen as a viable alternative to electric trucks due to weight penalties, recharge times, and high costs associated with EVs. 

The adoption of JCB's hydrogen combustion engine technology could be a significant step forward in the journey towards a carbon-neutral future. By offering a diverse range of technologies and solutions, the industry can cater to different needs, driving habits, geography, and infrastructure requirements. This diverse approach can ultimately lead to the successful implementation of environmentally friendly solutions in the construction and agricultural sectors. 

This new hydrogen combustion engine from JCB is a promising development in the quest for sustainable and efficient heavy machinery, which has sizeable carbon footprint – for instance, energy-use in industry, much of which will be fuel combustion for heavy machinery, accounts for 24% of global carbon emissions and a further 1.7% comes from the use of heavy machinery in fishing or agriculture. As hydrogen becomes cleaner and more affordable, the potential for this technology to replace traditional diesel and gasoline engines becomes increasingly likely. The future of heavy machinery may well lie in JCB's innovative hydrogen engine technology, paving the way for a greener and more sustainable world. 

Digital Edition

PIN 25.2 Apr/May

May 2024

Safety - Carbon monoxide toxic and flammable gas detection Analytical Instrumentation - Density: A fundamental parameter at critical stages within the petroleum sector - Advancements and...

View all digital editions


ASTM - D02 Meeting

Jun 16 2024 Austin, TX, USA


Jun 18 2024 Sarnia, Canada

European Liquid Gas Congress 2024

Jun 18 2024 Lyon, France

Chemspec Europe 2024

Jun 19 2024 Dusseldorf, Germany

Oil & Gas Philippines 2024

Jun 19 2024 Pasig City, Philippines

View all events