It was during Thomas Korn’s time as a physics student that he first understood the immense potential of hydrogen in different scenarios, whether as a means for storing energy or as a fuel. “In fact, I have worked with or on hydrogen technologies all my adult life,” the CEO of Munich-based KEYOU enthused to H2 View. “Hence, it is, and always has been, a ‘no brainer’ for me that hydrogen is the fuel of the future.”
This is what drives Korn and makes him so passionate about KEYOU and hydrogen. Founded in 2015, the high-tech company develops innovative hydrogen technologies, special components and combustion processes that can be deployed to transform conventional engines into zero emission ones. The technology is not specific to a particular engine or manufacturer and can be used in both new and existing vehicles.
“For many years, my co-founders and I were investigating and developing alternative drive technologies and fuels at the R&D departments of BMW,” Korn explained. “At this time, we learned about the advantages and disadvantages of different technologies, hydrogen fuel cells, hydrogen combustion engines and electric mobility. What connected us was our strong belief that hydrogen is the fuel of the future, and in combination with the combustion engine can solve our CO2 problem in the mobility sector.”
“In 2007, in the middle of the financial crisis and due to political pressure, BMW and other companies started focusing on electric propulsion and stopped their activities on the hydrogen combustion engine. Knowing about the potential of the hydrogen combustion engine, we immediately recognised the historical opportunity to pick up an abandoned technology that in our understanding will play a key role in the decarbonisation of mobility.”
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