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BMW Group Produces Fuel Cell Systems

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BMW Group Produces Fuel Cell Systems

The BMW Group is focusing on developing fuel cells, an alternative emissions-free technology, that will be implemented in future in small-series vehicles such as the BMW iX5 Hydrogen. Production of the fuel cell drive component has now begun


How Fuel Cells Work
Fuel cells produce energy by way of an electrochemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen, with water and heat as the only by-products. The greatest advantage of this technology over combustion engines is that it emits no carbon dioxide (CO2) when in operation.

BMW Group Produces Fuel Cell Systems

The fuel cells being produced by the BMW Group are based on a PEMFC (polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell) type system. In PEMFCs, hydrogen is fed to the anode side of a membrane electrode assembly (MEA), while oxygen from the air passes to the cathode side. An ion-conducting polymer electrolyte membrane separates the two electrodes and prevents uncontrolled mixing of the gases.

The catalysts on the electrodes split the hydrogen molecules into protons and electrons. The protons flow through the membrane to the cathode, where they react with oxygen to form water. The electrons, which cannot pass through the electrolyte, flow around it via an external circuit to produce electrical energy. This can either be used directly or stored in a battery
The goal of producing hydrogen-powered vehicles is to combine zero local emissions with long ranges, short refueling times and everyday practicality – i.e. Indra Esquivel, CEO of Clean Energy Fuels Mexico explains why his company is partnering with BMW Mexico to develop filling stations for hydrogen cars across the country.[1] Continuing research is being done in order improve safety and efficiency as mass production and adoption becomes more feasible in coming years.

The BMW Group’s production of fuel cell systems is just one example of how companies are searching for innovative ways to reduce emissions and lower our reliance on Fossil fuels. As research continues, it’s likely that we’ll see more widespread use of fuel cells in coming years as a way to power everything from homes to cars emission-free.

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