A hydrogen-powered dual fuel excavator has been unveiled this month by Belgian companies CMB.TECH and Luyckx.

Designed by CMB.TECH, a hydrogen solutions company, and construction machinery firm Luyckx, the digger was officially unveiled last Thursday (August 26).

According to the developers, this machine "provides gradual ecological development within the heavy construction and earthmoving sector", allowing companies to "embark on energy transition with today's machines without being permanently dependent on the availability of hydrogen".

Claimed to be a first in the heavy excavator sector, the machine can run on diesel if hydrogen supplies aren't available for the customer or site.

However, with hydrogen, the partner firms say: "With these first generation dual fuel machines, CO₂ emissions can be reduced by up to 50%".

Alongside the excavator, CMB.TECH also unveiled its new mobile hydrogen refueller, which it says can deliver up to 600kg of green hydrogen at 350 bar to the consumer.

This works for excavators, but also for other applications such as trucks, port equipment, ships and gensets, the firm says.

hydrogen excavator

Commenting, Luyckx CEO Jos Luyckx said:

"Driven by the wishes of our end users and fleet owners, we launched an own initiative feasibility study with regard to possible alternative solutions that help to reduce CO₂ emissions, make the machine park more sustainable and do business in a socially responsible way.

"The challenge was mainly in the area of energy requirements for heavy machinery.

Given this vision, the collaboration with CMB.TECH was started in order to convert a 37t excavator [a Hitachi ZX350LC-7] to a dual-fuel engine [hydrogen/diesel], thus taking a first concrete step towards greening the sector.

Roy Campe, CMB.TECH CTO, added: "The additional cost of the machines in the sector is rather limited, with the kilogrammes of hydrogen used leading directly to CO₂ reduction.

hydrogen excavator

"As of today, we offer the applications to enable up to 8t of CO₂ reduction per site per day, anywhere in the Benelux, without operational restrictions at the lowest possible cost."