The Flex Fuel Engine Demonstrator

It demonstrates how existing large diesel engines used by heavy transport such as ships, boats, trains, trucks and off-road construction, quarrying and agricultural vehicles can be retrofitted to use alternative fuels such as hydrogen and ammonia to reduce/eliminate carbon emissions and other pollutants whilst maintaining/enhancing efficiency and performance. This means those sectors can keep their existing assets, many of which have a lifetime of several decades, until they are ready to switch to an alternative propulsion system but still contribute meaningfully to carbon reduction goals. We have lifecycle analysis and technoeconomic assessment intelligence to demonstrate the environmental and economic credentials of the technology.

How can it help businesses?

The demonstrator is based at the University of Nottingham in the Powertrain Research Centre. Companies can use it in collaboration with research staff to experiment with different fuel types and set-ups to gain confidence that the
technology might be right for them. Once they are ready, the university can work with them to develop real-world trials in specific end use applications. The hydrogen storage applications could be developed both in conjunction with the end use application or separately as an element of wider infrastructure such as refuelling stations.

The University of Nottingham has strong links with the maritime sector and rail/road freight companies who are all potential end users. The University also work closely with the technology providers. This covers engine technology
developers/manufacturers and the hydrogen/ ammonia storage systems companies.

What’s on offer?

The University of Nottingham is currently offering site visits to see the demonstrator and discuss the project including some initial results of the first experiments. In 2023, the university will be looking for companies that want to run live trials in their end use applications (such as ships, trains, trucks).


Ben Nichols
Business Partnerships Manager (Zero)
Research & Innovation
Sir Colin Campbell Building
Jubilee Campus

Wollaton Road