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BMW’s Leipzig plant incorporates green hydrogen for paint dryers


BMW’s Leipzig plant incorporates green hydrogen for paint dryers

BMW Group claims its Leipzig plant is the first in the world to pilot a newly developed burner technology that runs on green hydrogen as well as natural gas. - h2-view

The fuel-flexible hydrogen-capable burner, being used for paint dryers, can run on hydrogen, methane, or a mixture of the two.

The new technology meets the feasibility requirements to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the intensive use of natural gas.

Milan Nedeljković, BMW AG Board Member, said it marked a technological breakthrough and underscores its determination to make production more sustainable.

The system was developed in collaboration with the Bremen-based company Saacke, and with the Fraunhofer Institute IFF in Magdeburg supporting the integration of the safety concept.

Reducing CO2 emissions is one of the central aims of the BMW iFactory, which blends green technologies with digitalisation.

To run hydrogen throughout, a pipeline will be needed to ensure sufficient quantities of green hydrogen are available at all times, but the Leipzig plant has the opportunity to use a hydrogen network created in the region for this purpose.

The first indoor hydrogen filling station in Germany was installed on the plant premises in 2013, to fuel forklifts and tug trains in intralogistics. Today, almost ten years later, the Leipzig plant has the largest fleet in Germany with over 130 fuel-cell powered forklifts. There are also five intralogistics hydrogen stations on the premises. The latest offers fully automated refuelling.

The BMW Group is also working with its partners to trial hydrogen-powered solutions to support the decarbonisation of transport logistics beyond the factory gates as well and is currently involved in the H2HAUL and HyCET research projects.

Hydrogen is a promising fuel for transport logistics because it allows fast refuelling, high payloads and flexible usability. It also offers extensive range. And green hydrogen – produced with energy from renewable sources – will pave the way for lower-carbon, long-distance logistics in the future.

The H2HAUL project in Belgium, Germany, France and Switzerland is working to develop and pilot 16 hydrogen fuel cell-powered trucks and install new, high-capacity filling stations for reliable fuel supplies. Launched in 2019, H2HAUL will run for five years, with Germany contributing by trialling two fuel-cell trucks for transportation between Plant Leipzig and Nuremberg.

On the HyCET project, the BMW Group is leading a consortium to advance the development and testing of trucks with hydrogen combustion engines in transport logistics.

With project funding of €11.3m approved by the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport in September, HyCET aims to demonstrate the potential of hydrogen combustion-engine trucks in transport logistics and establish two hydrogen filling stations for public use.

The carmaker aims to launch a hydrogen car by the end of the decade.

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