BMW is developing a new hydrogen engine it claims will be as efficient as the diesel technology available today.
BMW Group's Forschung und Technik division is working alongside researchers at Graz University of Technology in Austria, with two other Austrian partners involved in the research as well, to develop a new and more efficient hydrogen-fueled engine.
The engine being developed combines spark-ignition and diesel combustion technology to better exploit the favorable burning properties of hydrogen. The experimental system also involves direct-injection technology, with HOERBIGER ValveTec GmbH, one of the companies taking part in the research project, supplying high-pressure injectors that can push the hydrogen into the chamber at pressures of up to 300 bar.
Although still in the research phase, BMW claims the engine can match the combustion efficiency rating of 42 percent of modern turbo-diesels as well as deliver a power output of 100 kilowatts (about 134 hp) per liter of engine displacement.
It's nice to know the folks in the lab coats are hard at work creating the next generation of propulsion technologies. You know, so that you don't have to do it yourself.
Full technical details available in the press release linked below.