Tecogen Inc. says that it has been awarded research grant funding from the Propane Education & Research Council to develop the Ultera ultra-clean emissions control technology for the propane-powered fork truck market.
Although Tecogen has granted rights to the Ultera emissions control technology for vehicles to a joint venture affiliate (Ultra Emissions Technologies Ltd., or ULTRATEK), its development rights specifically exclude fork trucks, which remain the exclusive purview of Tecogen.
“This grant award is yet another demonstration of Tecogen pushing Ultera into new applications and verticals. Fork trucks are often used inside large warehouses, where indoor air quality is a serious concern. Eliminating pollutants from vehicles operating indoors is important to the fork truck industry and [its] customers,” says Robert Panora, Tecogen’s president, chief operating officer and one of the inventors of the Ultera system.
“Ultera has proven incredibly effective at nearly eliminating emissions of nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and non-methane hydrocarbons for a variety of engines. We are optimistic about the potential to produce similarly compelling results for propane fork trucks,” adds Panora.
According to Tecogen, the primary benefit of the Ultera-equipped ultra-clean propane fork truck will be fuel cell-like emissions and a propane-green brand that offers a robust indoor air quality advantage without compromising vehicle performance. The project will assess the adaption of Tecogen’s near-zero emissions technology for the fork truck category and demonstrate the technical performance on popular propane fork truck models. Select fork truck manufacturers are also participating in the research initiative, the company notes.
Tecogen’s Ultera emissions control technology was first developed for the natural gas-powered stationary engine market. More recently, the technology has been adapted for other applications, including biogas-powered engines, and is being studied for other mobile engine categories.