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Japan finds the fuel of the future and tests an engine: pay attention to what it started to do

Written by Noel Budeguer
Published 12/06/2024 às 18:16
Engine - fuel - hydrogen - Toyota -
Japan finds the fuel of the future and tests an engine: pay attention to what it started to do

Discover Toyota's GR Corolla H2 Concept, the first car with a liquid hydrogen engine. Discover the advantages of this innovative fuel and how it is changing motorsport towards a sustainable future

Nobody expected it, but once again, the Toyota brand surprise us again. Toyota has taken a revolutionary step with the GR Corolla H2 Concept, a car powered by liquid hydrogen. This innovative technology, showcased at the Super Taikyu 24-hour race in Fuji, Japan, promises to change the way we understand fuel for vehicles and engines.

The bet on liquid hydrogen as a fuel for combustion engines

The GR Corolla H2 Concept is the first vehicle to compete using liquid hydrogen as fuel. Toyota has been developing this technology since 2021, initially with gaseous hydrogen. Liquid hydrogen as an engine fuel represents a significant advance, as it increases the vehicle's energy density and autonomy, allowing it to compete more efficiently. Something never seen until now.

The supply of liquid hydrogen is much less complex than the supply of hydrogen in the gaseous state. However, it must always be at temperatures below -253 °C, both during storage and during the supply process. Source: Razaoautomovel

The advantages of liquid hydrogen

Liquid hydrogen has several advantages over its gaseous counterpart:

  • Greater energy density: This allows for greater autonomy, doubling the capacity of previous tanks.
  • More compact service stations: Liquid hydrogen stations require less space and can be installed in pit areas next to gasoline stations, facilitating refueling during races.
  • Refueling efficiency: It is not necessary to pressurize liquid hydrogen, allowing multiple vehicles to be refueled consecutively without the need for additional compression equipment.

What are the challenges of liquid hydrogen?

Despite its benefits, liquid hydrogen also faces several challenges worth mentioning:

  • Extremely low temperature: Must be maintained at temperatures below -253°C, which requires advanced technology in fuel pumps and tanks to prevent evaporation.
  • Pump technology: Fuel pumps need to work efficiently at these low temperatures, which presents a significant technical challenge.
  • Regulations and safety: Specific standards must be established for the safe handling and storage of liquid hydrogen in vehicles.

Technological innovations

Toyota has implemented several innovations in the GR Corolla H2 Concept to improve its performance. One of the most notable is CO2 capture technology, which allows the car to absorb carbon dioxide from the air while driving, further reducing its environmental impact. Furthermore, oval-shaped tanks were developed, optimizing space and increasing liquid hydrogen storage capacity. The durability of fuel pumps has also been improved, allowing more efficient refueling and extending the useful life of these essential engine components.

Toyota has implemented several innovations in the GR Corolla H2 Concept to improve its performance. One of the most notable is CO2 capture technology, which allows the car to absorb carbon dioxide from the air while driving, further reducing its environmental impact. Source: Toyota

Collaboration and continuous development

The development of the GR Corolla H2 Concept is the result of close collaboration between Toyota and several Japanese universities, including the University of Tokyo and Waseda University. These partnerships seek to reduce engine weight and improve the efficiency of liquid hydrogen systems, with the aim of making these vehicles more affordable and efficient for the future.

The Future of Hydrogen in the Combustion Engine and Motorsport

Toyota sees hydrogen as a key part of a carbon-free automotive future. The company plans to continue developing both gaseous and liquid hydrogen, taking advantage of their respective advantages for different applications. This long-term vision includes participation in competitions such as Le Mans, where hydrogen is expected to play a crucial role in the next generation of racing vehicles.

So with its liquid hydrogen innovations, Toyota is not only redefining the future of motoring, but also moving towards a more sustainable, carbon-free world. The introduction of liquid hydrogen-powered engines demonstrates Toyota's commitment to innovation and sustainability, offering a viable and efficient alternative to traditional fuel.

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Noel Budeguer

Of Argentine nationality, I am a news writer and specialist in the field. I cover topics such as science, oil, gas, technology, the automotive industry, renewable energy and all trends in the job market.

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