Automotive Intelligence - the web for automotive professionals and car enthusiasts
April 02, 2008
"The mono-fuel Hydrogen 7 is the of more than 25 years of hydrogen development by BMW," noted Tom Baloga, Vice-president of Engineering for BMW in the US. "It demonstrates BMW's support for a hydrogen infrastructure by producing an internal combustion engine that produces truly near-zero emissions and simultaneously cleans the air of certain pollutants."
In BMW's view, hydrogen is the most logical energy carrier of the future for three reasons. Firstly, it has no carbon and therefore emits no CO2, HC's and other pollutants. Secondly, it can be produced using renewable, clean technologies like solar, wind, geothermal, and bio-processes. Lastly, it can be produced in stable areas of the globe as necessary for energy security. Although today's hydrogen is mainly derived from natural gas, hydrogen can and will be "green" from renewable and clean sources in the future. Unlike batteries, which will likely also play an important role in future transportation, hydrogen vehicles can be refueled rather quickly for long trips, don't require powerlines across the landscape, and hydrogen can be generated and stored 24/7 when wind is greatest or electrical demand is low.
The BMW Hydrogen 7 mono-fuel is a demonstration production vehicle, not a prototype. It was created to showcase the zero CO2 and low emissions potential and feasibility of a dedicated hydrogen internal combustion engine (ICE). In addition, the BMW Hydrogen 7 mono-fuel helps deliver additional experience in the everyday use of hydrogen beyond what has already been learned with the nearly 100 bi-fuel Hydrogen 7 Sedans that have been used in a customer test drive program since November 2006.
The Hydrogen 7's V12 mono-fuel ICE produces no CO2 and near-zero emissions, while not sacrificing performance. In fact, the tailpipe emissions are so infinitesimal they pushed the limits of current emission testing technology.
Independent authorities, including the Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), have confirmed these results. ANL conducted emission tests on BMW Hydrogen 7 mono-fuel vehicles in early March 2008.
"The BMW Hydrogen 7's emissions were only a fraction of SULEV level, making it one of the lowest emitting combustion engine vehicles that have been manufactured," said Thomas Wallner, a mechanical engineer who leads Argonne's hydrogen vehicle testing activities. "Moreover, the car's engine actively cleans the air. Argonne's testing shows that the Hydrogen 7's 12-cylinder engine actually shows emissions levels that, for certain components, such as Non Methane Organic Gases (NMOG's) and Carbon Monoxides (CO's), are cleaner than the ambient air that comes into the car's engine."
BMW and ANL will hold a joint press conference about the ground-breaking results at the SAE World Congress. Christophe Huss, Vice-president - Development Abroad, Type Approval and Traffic Management for BMW will be present at the SAE World Congress.
(March 31, 2008)