Japan's automakers team up for bioethanol, hydrogen

The race towards zero emissions driving has become more interesting.

While companies like the Volkswagen group and other Chinese car manufacturers are going into building their own battery technologies for their electric cars, others like Hyundai and Toyota are looking towards hydrogen as a reliable green power source. While Hyundai via its investors focused more on electric power and moved its hydrogen plans to its aviation arm, Toyota is the one that's looking to move forward with its hydrogen dream. And they're not alone.

Toyota leads the charge in renewable fuel research image

Toyota, Subaru, Daihatsu, Suzuki, ENEOS, and Toyota Tsusho have come together in a research and development project aimed at improving the viability of carbon neural fuel technology. This means that they will develop a hydrogen-based power source for their vehicles and meet all zero emissions requirements and deadlines.

Toyota leads the charge in renewable fuel research image

The group will further look into the possible sustainability of the proposed fuels and try to optimize the process of its production. They will also study how to use byproducts of the fuel like oxygen as well as the CO2 generation in bioethanol production. 

This type of fuel is not new as Toyota has already built a race car on the hydrogen premise. Toyota’s very own president Akio Toyota (AKA “Morizo”) has personally overseen the development of both the fuel and the car.

Toyota leads the charge in renewable fuel research image

The project will touch on four major components of how this second generation will be structured. As mentioned earlier, they will do studies on the byproducts as well as the raw materials needed to help cultivate methods and make them efficient enough for the fuel to be lean.

This will then lead to ethanol production itself. The process has to pass international standards and also set new ones for good quality control as well. Lastly, the new company will also focus on the well-planned operation of the overall system. This also includes fuel utilization in automotive applications.

Toyota leads the charge in renewable fuel research image

A lot is riding on the group, though they need to work on shortening their name. As it stands, they will be known as The Research of Biomass Innovation for Next Generation Automobile Fuels. 

Lengthy name notwithstanding, their goal has a deadline: 2040. These last few years have been very important with the automotive industry shifting to a greener state. When it happens, this could be bigger than when the internal combustion engine (ICE) replaced the steam engine as the dominant form of propulsion a hundred years ago.