HCNG Buses in Delhi: Know what is Hydrogen-Enriched Compressed Natural Gas, its Benefits & HCNG vs CNG Difference

HCNG is the hydrogen spiked CNG which is produced using compact reforming process. 

Created On: Oct 19, 2020 17:55 ISTModified On: Oct 19, 2020 17:55 IST
HCNG Buses in Delhi

Hydrogen-Enriched Compressed Natural Gas, HCNG-based 50 buses will hit the roads of Delhi from October 20, 2020 onwards, as a part of Government's plan to combat air pollution in the national capital.

A 4-tonne HCNG production plant has been set up at the Rajghat-1 bus depot of the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC). Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan and Delhi's Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot will be inaugurating this HCNG production plant on October 20, 2020.

As a part of pilot project, 50 buses of this depot will run on HCNG for a period of six months. With a little tuning, the present CNG-run buses will be used to run on HCNG.

What is HCNG?

HCNG stands for Hydrogen-enriched Compressed Natural Gas. HCNG is produced by blending the hydrogen with CNG. It is the hydrogen spiked CNG which is produced using compact reforming process. This compact reforming process was patented by the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC).

Benefits of HCNG

- In comparison to hydrogen, it is easier and safer to use the HCNG as it contains low energy content, just up to 30% in terms of volume.

- The Hydrogen-enriched CNG reduces the emissions of engine's unburned hydrocarbon and fastens up the combustion process.

- The HCNG also enhances the fuel efficiency of engine by lowering down the fuel consumption of vehicle.

Difference between HCNG & CNG

- HCNG is a cleaner and economical fuel than the CNG-Compressed Natural Gas.

- The Power output of HCNG-run vehicles is better than the CNG ones.

- The use of HCNG is likely to result in 70% more reduction in emission of carbon monoxide, in comparison to the CNG.


In 2019, the Supreme Court had suggested to switch to HCNG vehicles as a solution to fight the poor air quality of Delhi-NCR region.

The Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) and the Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL) collaborated to set up the first semi-commercial HCNG production plant to study the use of HCNG fuel in 50 CNG-run buses, which are BS IV compliant, in the national capital.

The IOCL developed the technology to create the HCNG through the compact reforming process, which is 30% more cost effective.

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