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European Innovation Council

EIC-funded natural gas dual-fuel system was named one of the top 50 in the European Startup Prize Mobility category


On January 26, 2022 The European Startup Prize for mobility (EUSP) team announced DiGas as one of the TOP 50 mobility startups for the EUSP 4th edition. Riga based DiGas received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 784620.

The European Startup Prize for mobility (EUSP) is an EU-founded acceleration and investment Programme for sustainable mobility startups. Established in collaboration with all major EU institutions and major mobility and tech corporations. The initiative aims to support and scale up smart and sustainable mobility startups all across Europe. EUSP not only provide the startups with EU and private investment opportunities, but also offer tailored mentoring programme for the “grantees”.

To support the transition to cleaner mobility, in line with the objectives of the European Green Deal, EU nations set an ambitious plan to stabilise and reduce carbon emissions to mitigate climate change. To ensure a smooth transition to renewables some scientists have noticed the role of natural gas as a transitional alternative while cleaner renewable energies mature technologically and economically.

Over 70% of all the world’s railway locomotives are powered by diesel engines. Diesel exhaust contains high levels of particles, known as fine particulate matter (PM), the largest source of particulate emissions in transport. For this reason the European Union has regulated the exhaust emission standards of the new locomotives, causing a rise in the cost of purchasing compliant engines, thus highering the costs of modernising the locomotive fleets. The average operational lifespan of a diesel locomotive is 45 years and 77% of Europe’s locomotives have reached 30 years or more already, making them more fuel inefficient than the new ones. Coupled with the rising diesel prices (fuel costs typically represent up to 60% of locomotive operating costs for rail operators) railroad operators are challenged to find solutions from innovation.

DiGas is a pioneer in dual-fuel systems for diesel engines. The company has developed NYSMART (Novel dual-fuel system for modernization of air-polluting diesel locomotives to clean and efficient gas operation), a proprietary patented dual-fuel technology allowing the engine to operate on diesel and gas simultaneously, substituting air-polluting diesel fuel by rates of 45% to 80% with cleaner burning natural and renewable gas.

NYSMART modular is simply installed onto any diesel engine type. Once installed, the intelligent engine management system results in 30% reduction in fuel costs as well as emission reductions of: CO2 by 20-25% (Liquefied Natural Gas) and 72% (Renewable Natural Gas); NOx by 49%; PM by 69% ; SO2 by 67% ; Additionally, the modular reduces noise by 50% and vibration by 30%."

With the help of EIC funding NYSMART dual-fuel system is at TRL9 being fully tested and certified. DiGas started the product market roll out with public and private railways.