A Mazda rotary engine running with hydrogen for an extended range

Mazda Bets Hydrogen for its Extended Range Rotary Engine

Mazda is known for its handling and its quirky insistence on the Wankel rotary motor it acquired from the Germans decades ago but not for its alternative energy use. It seems the company is still not ready to let it go but willing to try something new.

Mazda is facing a serious challenge with a growing deficit to gain a profit in less than a year. In order to do this, Mazda wants to adapt its rotary Wankel engine to hydrogen and slap on an electric generator turning it into a hybrid drivetrain. It seems a week ago I was wondering why the perfect plug-in hybrid, PHEV solution hasn’t hit the showroom yet, Mazda could bring us closer to it http://www.torquenews.com/1079/ideal-alternative-energy-car-just-wont-happen . Certainly burning hydrogen is much more efficient than letting it interact with expensive silver and release its water and oxygen molecules. In this instance, the rotary engine is better suited for hydrogen than it is burning gasoline.

Mazda Rethinks Its Electric Strategy. Mazda would seem to be the perfect company for electric cars, EV and plug-in hybrids. However, the company has consistently played down the viability of electric cars and renounced ever making them. But profit dictates direction and loosing that much money, the company has no choice but to act quickly.


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'Certainly burning hydrogen is much more efficient than letting it interact with expensive silver and release its water and oxygen molecules.' Fuel cells use platinum not silver and are up to 60% efficient, around twice the efficiency of burning hydrogen in a combustion engine, whether a Wankel or other.
You're right David about the platinum. I somehow fixated on silver. However, the 60% efficient is only when you take into consideration the engine itself. Granted it is 30% more efficient than a conventional gasoline engine, the new ones are catching up. The problem with hydrogen is when you take into consideration production, compression, storage, delivery, then finally returning electrons back, the equation has a lot that needs to be solved before being feasible. I saw gasoline car projects that mixed hydrogen with fantastic results. Someone, fuel cell seems to me as trying to make a square wheel work. I guess with enough energy and funds, anything is possible. Thank you, Nicolas