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Mazda - Hydrogen Rotary Engine

Gasoline-fueled automobiles have a very negative impact on the environment. The problems of global warming and high pollution have received more and more attention worldwide in recent years. As a result, many car manufacturers have begun developing alternative fuel vehicles. At the forefront of these developments is Mazda, an industry pioneer. One of the company’s most well-known innovations is its use of the Wankel rotary engine. In effort to reduce pollution, it has created a version of the rotary engine that utilizes hydrogen as a fuel source.

For automakers around the world, the pressure is on to create vehicles with more environmentally friendly power sources. The issues of global warming and pollution are more prevalent on people’s minds than ever before. Harmful vehicle emissions are one of the largest contributors to air pollution. Electric cars and hybrids are the future of the automotive industry, offering alternative fuel sources to help lower the damaging output. While all car manufacturers are focusing attention toward creating these types of vehicles, Mazda stands out ahead of the pack.

This particular company has prided itself on being innovative from its beginning. It has been the only manufacturer to utilize a rotary-style engine for years, while others have offered only traditional piston engines. This unique type of engine exhibits high power in combination with light weight, making it ideal for use in sport vehicles. Continuing its dedication to the rotary engine, it has created a new version that uses hydrogen and gasoline fuels.

The RENESIS hydrogen rotary engine employs this dual-fuel system by using a hydrogen gas injector. The hydrogen is directly injected into the intake chamber, which is separate from the combustion chamber. In internal combustion engines, the use of hydrogen would result in a serious problem. This is because the intake chamber and combustion chamber are not separated, and hydrogen is highly flammable. As the hydrogen is drawn in during the intake stroke, it would come in contact with extremely hot surfaces and ignite easily. The resulting problem would be abnormal combustion, or backfiring. The risk of this happening in the rotary engine is very low, so it is much more ideal for the use of hydrogen fuel.

The rotary engine design requires only a few modifications in order to incorporate the use of hydrogen fuel. Therefore, Mazda is able to produce the hydrogen rotary engine at a very low cost. The benefits to the environment are that it emits zero carbon dioxide and very little nitrogen oxide. The creation of this powerplant is part of it’s “Sustainable Zoom-Zoom Plan”, which is the company’s initiative toward finding multiple solutions to the negative ways that cars affect the environment. This plan aims to not only reduce vehicle emissions, but also lower reliance on fossil fuels. Hydrogen can be generated from many different resources, such as windmills and solar panels. Fossil fuels, on the other hand, are in danger of being depleted. Since hydrogen is a renewable resource, it cannot be exhausted.

Mazda introduced the first car with a hydrogen rotary engine in 1991, called the HR-X. The car maker has developed several other vehicles with this type of engine since. Unveiled in 2003, the RX-8 Hydrogen RE was the first to include the combination fuel system. It was approved for commercial leasing in 2006. The Premacy Hydrogen RE Hybrid became the first hydrogen hybrid car with a dual fuel system in the world in 2008. The luxury of the dual fuel system is that it allows for driving in areas without hydrogen fuel supplies because it can still operate on gasoline.

Through continuous dedication to innovation, Mazda has made great contributions toward more environmentally safe travel. The company’s future developments are sure to exceed all others.

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