|The body panels of the HUMMER O2 contain the algae.|
General Motors Advanced Design’s entry into the Los Angeles Design Challenge in conjunction with the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show is the HUMMER O2: a fuel-cell powered vehicle with a phototropic body shell that produces oxygen (O2) even while parked.
The concept features algae-filled body panels that consume atmospheric CO2 and produce oxygen that is released back into the environment. The O2’s construction specifies the use of 100% post-consumer materials like aluminum for the frame and VOC-free finishes.
Each phototropic body panel functions essentially as a leaf. Each panel contains an optimized photobioreactor where a solution of algae and water transforms the CO2 into oxygen. (Diagram to the right.)
|Click to enlarge.|
Algae would be replaced annually, with the used algae recycled as biomass for the production of fuel.
The flow of CO2 and oxygen is regulated by a two-way valve system in the corner of each panel. These devices control and monitor the amount of CO2 and source nutrition required by the algae, and optimize oxygen production and distribution.
The concept uses four modular, self-contained hydrogen fuel cells to power hydraulic motors attached to each wheel. The hydrogen tanks sits in the center of the vehicle.
Other Design Challenge entries this year are:
- Acura FCX 2020 Le Mans (fuel cell and lightweight materials)
- Audi Dynamic Space Frame (new frame concept with hydraulic fluid drive)
- Honda Extreme (recyclable chassis)
- Kia Sandstorm (a biodiesel plug-in hybrid)
- Mercedes-Benz RECY (recyclable body with BLUETEC biodiesel engine)
- MINI Bimoke (compostable body)
- Toyota RLV (split powertrain: manual (pedals) or electric (motor))
- Volkswagen Nanospyder (nanomachine-based)
On a more prosaic level, General Motors will have among its exhibits at the autoshow the following:
- 2008 GMC Yukon Hybrid
- Saturn Aura Green Line hybrid
- Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell
- Chevrolet Sequel fuel cell vehicle