Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are a different thing – they only produce water vapor as emissions, which in theory can be filtered and be made potable. And while that’s been their highlight for many years, their eco-friendlier approach creates a unique opportunity – one that Toyota is eager to note with its 2021 Mirai. In other words, Toyota claims that their fuel cell vehicle can help save the air.
Fuel cells make use of the hydrogen-oxygen reaction to produce electricity, with only water vapor as the byproduct. The Mirai FCEV and other similar vehicles require substantial amounts of air, cycling it through the system where oxygen is used for reaction, before funneling it back out. It’s groundbreaking both for the fuel cells and the environment in general.
According to Toyota, the air gets cleaned up using a two-stage process. The first stage is where nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and ammonia (NH3) get neutralized; while the second stage is an electrostatically charged filter that captures particles and pollutants.
The More You Drive, The More You Clean The Air
Toyota claims that its special air-cleaning fabric can capture particles as small as PM2.5, then a chemical filter further suppresses the particulates by removing them. The company added that it’s effective in removing particulates between 0.3 to 2.5 microns.
This is an initiative of what Toyota is calling “minus emissions.” In other words, driving is cleaning the air.
A recent test was conducted on the 2021 Mirai, and the results showed that it had cleaned 48,000 cubic feet of air at a distance of 1,351 miles. It’s far more cleaner than your typical internal combustion engine, nevertheless the amount.
However, Toyota cautioned that the amount of air might still differ depending on the amount of air changes, and other factors, such as altitude and climate.
Of course, there are some concerns regarding hydrogen fuel cells. The US alone only produces small amounts of “green” hydrogen used for refueling vehicles.
That’s because most hydrogen is sourced through a methane reformation with natural gas – still not very carbon-friendly in nature, and not without harmful emissions of its own.
Fuel Cell Vehicles Towards A Carbon-Neutral World
The carmaker also said that the new fuel cell module could be used by companies to develop cleaner trains, ships, as well as generators. It can be connected to an existing instrument, provided it has an inverter, motor, and battery. These possibilities could spell the meaning of convenience.
In addition to its effort to promote fuel cell vehicles, Toyota will continue to popularize fuel cell products together with various fuel cell companies to fully achieve carbon neutrality. Aside from Toyota, Hyundai is also working on a similar project involving hydrogen fuel cell technology.
Fuel Cell Vehicle – Conclusion
Indeed, this breakthrough shows a cleaner future. But as for minus emissions? This might be the right time to reconsider given the current reality.
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