Blog: Dave LeggettMazda's hydrogen rotary engine

Dave Leggett | 30 January 2004

Just got off the phone after speaking with automotive technology journalist Jesse Crosse. One of the subjects that cropped up was Mazda's hydrogen rotary engine which was shown at Tokyo. While over there, Jesse interviewed the engine's senior research engineer and reckons Mazda's hydrogen solution may have some advantages over rival systems.

Mazda claims that due to the volatile nature of hydrogen, the more common four-stroke Otto cycle (reciprocating) engine needs substantial and expensive development to run on hydrogen to avoid pre-ignition on the intake cycle. But Mazda says that pre-ignition is not a problem with the rotary engine because injection, compression, ignition and exhaust areas are separated from each other. The rotary engine therefore requires very little modification. I wonder what BMW's hydrogen people would say to that? A feature from Mr Crosse for just-auto is in the works and I'm looking forward to reading it.


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