Sudbury mining supplier partners with dynaCERT to bring diesel emissions slasher underground

A Sudbury mining supply company thinks it's found an answer to the problem of diesel emissions in underground mines. 

"HydraGEN" machine uses distilled water, improves air quality

Kevin Whynott (left) of Sudbury's Total Equipment Services Inc., and Jim Payne, head of dynaCERT, stand beside the Hydragen, a machine designed to slash harmful gas emissions from diesel engines. "It's like a smartphone," says Payne. "It's learning all the time to determine the proper flow rate of gasses required to optimize the burn of a diesel engine." (Markus Schwabe )

A Sudbury mining supply company has won the contract to put a piece of technology into underground mines that could reduce diesel emissions by more than half.

A Toronto-based company called dynaCERT has patented a product called the HydraGEN that improves the efficiency of diesel engines using distilled water. 

dynaCERT CEO Jim Payne said it works like this: pure hydrogen and pure oxygen are produced on-demand from distilled water, which in turn are fed into the engine intakes of diesel-fuelled machines as a catalyst to "optimize the burn" of the diesel. 

Payne said the machine saves big bucks on diesel bills — and makes for better air quality.

"We are reducing the emissions north of 50 per cent clear across the board," he said. "Everything from particulate matter to all the pollutants. The NOx [nitrogen oxide], which is the most deadly gas produced by a diesel engine — this [machine] is reducing it by 88 per cent right at the burn, right at the source."

As for fuel savings, Payne said on average, the machine improves diesel fuel efficiency by 10 to 15 per cent. 

There's a really big problem with the mines at the moment.- Kevin Whynott

Kevin Whynott's company, Total Equipment Services Inc. in Sudbury, won the contract to put dynaCERT's technology on any piece of diesel equipment in an underground mine. 

He said many of his underground mining clients deal with major emissions problems. 

"A lot of our customers are in the underground mines and some of the biggest problems they have is emissions," he said. "So, we were looking for a company to partner with to try to reduce emissions, just because there's a really big problem with the mines at the moment."

Whynott also pointed out that dealing with emissions comes at a cost. 

"How the mines work, a lot of it, is they do a cost per tonne lots. So anytime we can walk in and save on their ventilation, on their fuel, that actually changes their cost per tonne for mining, which is huge out there."