Ted Hollinger, HEC, CEO, has announced another milestone event in the life of the company. HEC is the first company to develop a tractor that is capable of running on hydrogen or a combination of ammonia and hydrogen. This project was taken on to demonstrate the importance of a technology, which can be fueled with Carbon Free renewable energy. In the photo above, the first-of-a-kind tractor is being shipped from our plant in Algona, Iowa.

Hydrogen and ammonia are the only two energy sources, which can be used for combustion without the creation of carbon based “Green House Gases”, such as CO2 and CO. Additionally, toxic carbon particulate emissions, which are carcinogenic and directly related to upper respiratory medical diseases, are eliminated. In other words, there is no harmful pollution with an engine burning either hydrogen or a mixture of hydrogen/ammonia.

This is a historic event, considering that the scientists that study our atmosphere constantly remind us how important it is to reduce the use of carbon based fuels.   The recent Sept. 23 United Nations, “Climate Change Summit “attended by over 100 countries documented the urgency of addressing and reducing, “global warming”. Conventional hydrocarbon fuels are causing irreversible atmospheric changes, which are affecting the world population today. HEC now has the ability to produce engines that run on fuels creating “Zero Pollution”. This will provide major pollution reduction and health benefits to mankind and the future or our world, as we know it.

HEC has been one of the pioneers in running internal combustion engines on hydrogen and now has done the same thing with the only other carbon-free fuel (anhydrous ammonia). We can now create power with the use of two carbon-free fuels, allowing us to create power, pollution free.   If the hydrogen and ammonia are produced through electrolysis of water, then Zero gaseous or carbon particulate emissions are produced.

The innovations that have become part of the tractor have been under development for over10 years. The dual-fuel tractor has allowed us to bring several of these technological advancements together. For instance, we have designed, developed and produced a control system that allows us to benefit from using any two fuels at the same time. Each fuel has its own fuel map and timing map, so for each fuel, the engine can be tuned separately. This controller, working with the two specially designed fuel systems, is a critical part of running any engine on multiple fuels.

In addition, the fuel system itself is unique; ammonia will not ignite easily without another fast burning fuel to get it started. This typically has required a “cracker” with its associated precious metals. This cost can be averted by using hydrogen injection to assist the ammonia in burning to complete the combustion process. Since the tractor has a 9.4 L engine, hydrogen is sequentially port injected while the ammonia is fed into the engine with a specialty mixer. Again, the mixer is another HEC, first!

HEC’s new subsidiary, HEC-TINA, will introduce several new pollution-free energy and communications products in 2015, allowing us to merge both companies’ “Revolutionary Technologies”. TINA Energy System’s hydrogen electrolyzer technology gives the new HEC-TINA subsidiary the ability to make fuel (Hydrogen and/or ammonia) and store it for on-demand use, when the renewable sources such as wind and solar are not available. When a blend of hydrogen/ammonia is the fuel of choice the fuel systems and controls used in the tractor will be a key component of the system. Production of HEC-TINA systems will begin the first quarter of 2015.