An Algona Company that develops and sells alternative-fuel engines holds its annual stockholders meeting today (Friday) at a time when demand is on the rise. Ted Hollinger is an engineer and president of the company called Hydrogen Engine Center, Incorporated. He says, “We’re one of the few people in the state who probably like to see the gas prices go up, it brings more business our way.” And Hollinger says global warming and the desire to cut emissions also drives interest.

Hollinger says they stay away from car engines so they aren’t competing with the big automakers. He says most of their engines go into industrial applications, such as generators for power and ground support vehicles at airports. Hollinger says you’re likely to see a vehicle with an alternative fuel engine as you prepare to fly off on a trip. He says airports are under a lot of pressure to clean up pollution, and since you can’t clean up the airplane exhaust, airport manages look to clean up the support equipment.

Hollinger says a lot of the focus right now is on developing hydrogen engines. Hollinger says it’s the cleanest fuel, so they spend the most time on that. He says they also have propane engines and those that run on natural gas and hydrogen. Hollinger says they get requests to find ways to burn all sorts of alternative fuels. He says they’re looking at digester gas from landfills, gas made from wood chips.

Hollinger says one of their problems right now is being able to keep up with the orders, as new requests are coming in from all over the world. He says the high price of gas is making the alternative fuels a more affordable option for many buyers.