So far all the Hydrogen 7s that BMW has produced and distributed have been dual fuel vehicles that are capable of running on either hydrogen or gasoline. This is helpful since the H7 only has a range of about 100 miles from its tank of liquid hydrogen. BMW has now built a mono-fuel hydrogen only version of the H7 that has been optimized for running on the alternative fuel. By not having to compromise the engine to run on gasoline, BMW has been able to improve performance, reduce fuel consumption and extend the range. The mono-fuel H7 was recently tested at the Argonne National Lab which found out the exhaust gases were actually cleaner than the ambient air going into the engine. BMW will release more specifics about the mono-fuel H7 in two weeks at the SAE World Congress. For now, the mono-fuel H7 is just a tech demonstrator with no production plans.
BMW DEBUTS HYDROGEN-ONLY VERSION OF THE BMW HYDROGEN 7
Internal Combustion Engine Pushes the Boundaries of Detectable Emissions
Woodcliff Lake, NJ - March 31, 2008... BMW announces its latest milestone in its pursuit of the hydrogen future, the BMW Hydrogen 7 mono-fuel. Based on the BMW Hydrogen 7 bi-fuel version (gasoline and hydrogen), the mono-fuel vehicle's internal combustion engine is optimized to run solely on hydrogen and shares the performance, comfort, and safety qualities of every production BMW 7 Series. The BMW Hydrogen 7 mono-fuel will be featured at both the 2008 National Hydrogen Association Conference in Sacramento, CA (Mar. 30 - Apr. 3) and the 2008 SAE World Congress in Detroit, MI (Apr. 14 - 17).
The BMW Hydrogen 7 mono-fuel is equipped with a V12 internal combustion engine (ICE) which has been engineered to run exclusively on hydrogen . Compared with the bi-fuel version, this vehicle achieves incredibly low emissions, increased engine performance, reduced consumption and greater range.
"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.