Mazda has announced that its Hydrogen Rotary Engine has been awarded the IAHE Sir William Grove Award from the International Association for Hydrogen Energy (IAHE).
Mazda was recognised for its role commercialising the world’s first hydrogen rotary engine vehicles which have been available for lease since 2009, and participation in Norway’s national HyNor hydrogen project.
In recent times the rotary engine had become seemingly obsolete following reports that the Mazda RX-8 would not be sold in Europe as it couldn’t pass stricter Euro-5 emissions regulations.
These same regulations also culled a turbocharged variant of the Mazda RX-8 which would continue the performance spirit of the cult classic twin-turbocharged Mazda RX-7.
Mazda developed its first hydrogen rotary engine vehicle dubbed the Mazda HR-X in 1991, becoming the foundation for the Mazda RX-8 hydrogen rotary engine development which began in 2003.
Despite hydrogen being a long way off mainstream availability, the rotary engine needs only a few design changes to allow it to operate on hydrogen with zero CO2 emissions while still retaining the ability to run on regular petrol.