DIGAS secures €1.3M grant from the EU Horizon 2020 programme


In December 2017 DiGas has secured a €1.3m grant from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 SME Instrument Phase 2 programme to bring to market “next-generation” dual-fuel technology. The grant will fund a two-year project, which includes updating and tailoring the design of the DiGas dual fuel system, production of 5 dual-fuel systems, along with independent verification of the system to achieve TRL9 status. During implementation of project activities DiGas has to prepare 25 deliverables of which two will be publicly available by the May 2019. The two are: (1)Production of 2 publications in the form of editorials, technical papers or trade press and (2); Report on gender, societal and ethical issue of exploitation.

Diesel exhaust contains significant levels of small particles, known as fine particulate matter (PM) and is the largest source of particulate emissions in transport. In spite of the environmental benefit that rail carries over other modes of transport, over 70% of all the world’s railway locomotives are powered by diesel engines, consuming more than 34 billion litres of diesel fuel annually. To combat the problem of diesel locomotive emissions, the European Union has set stricter limits on the exhaust emissions of new locomotives.

Stricter limits have caused a steep rise in the cost of purchasing compliant engines. The higher costs have made it much more difficult for rail operators to modernise their locomotive fleets. With a 45-year average operational lifespan, Europe has now reached the stage where 77% of its diesel locomotives are 30 years or older. The inefficiency of the engines in long service life vehicles, coupled with diesel prices, now make fuel costs a major problem for rail operators. Alternatives in clean and efficient fuel will allow operators to remain economically competitive.

DiGas SIA is a pioneer in dual-fuel systems for diesel engines. We have developed NYSMART, a proprietary patented dual-fuel technology tailored for modernisation of air-polluting diesel locomotives to clean and efficient operation. Due to its modular form, NYSMART can be quickly and simply installed onto any diesel engine type. Once installed, our advanced intelligent engine management system results in the following benefits:

  • 30% reduction in fuel costs, delivering rapid payback for the customer;
  • provides torque & performance similar to that of a diesel engine;
  • delivers PM and NOx emissions reductions of 95% and 60% respectively.

By addressing the current limitations of existing technologies, we expect to secure a 4% share of the European market, generate annual revenues of €38million by year 5 (2024) and an ROI of 578%.