BMW Group plant in Leipzig pilots flexible hydrogen burner in paint shop

The BMW Group plant in Leipzig has launched the first flexible hydrogen burner for paint dryers, the first car plant in the world to do so. The system can run on hydrogen (H2), methane (CH4) or a mixture of both. It can also switch between fuels during operation.

Initially, it will operate in trial operations. The flexible fuel burner system was developed in collaboration with the Bremen combustion plant company Saacke and the Fraunhofer Institute IFF Magdeburg to support the integration of the safety concept.


BMW Group plant in Leipzig: A hydrogen-compatible flexible fuel burner in the paint shop. The rightmost vertical pipe carries hydrogen (Wasserstoff); the vertical pipe to its left carries natural gas (Erdgas).

To get hydrogen flowing everywhere, a pipeline will be needed to ensure that sufficient quantities of green hydrogen are available at all times. The Leipzig plant has the option of using a hydrogen network created in the region for this purpose.

Hydrogen has long been a staple fuel in factory logistics. The first indoor hydrogen filling station in Germany was installed on the factory premises in 2013, to supply forklifts and tug trains in intralogistics. Today, almost ten years later, the Leipzig plant has the largest fleet in Germany with more than 130 fuel cell forklifts. There are also five intralogistics hydrogen stations on the premises. The latest fully automated refueling offers.

Reduce CO2 emissions is one of the main objectives of the BMW iFACTORY with its LEAN. GREEN. DIGITAL approach. While sustainability, optimal use of resources and circularity are central to GREEN, the LEAN component of the strategy works for efficient, precise and highly flexible production. DIGITAL effectively uses digitization in data science, artificial intelligence and virtualization.

To become more sustainable, the BMW Group is designing site-specific solutions to reduce CO emissions2 emissions, including geothermal, photovoltaic and hydrogen. The different solutions will be deployed in the way most suited to the site in question.