RELEASE: BMW Group, Airbus and Quantinuum collaborate to accelerate research on sustainable mobility

- BMW Group, Airbus and Quantinuum collaborate to accelerate research on sustainable mobility using next-generation quantum computers.

RELEASE: BMW Group, Airbus and Quantinuum collaborate to accelerate research on sustainable mobility

- BMW Group, Airbus and Quantinuum collaborate to accelerate research on sustainable mobility using next-generation quantum computers

MUNICH, TOULOUSE, France and CAMBRIDGE, England, Aug. 2, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Airbus, BMW Group and Quantinuum, world leaders in mobility and quantum technologies, have developed a hybrid quantum-classical workflow to accelerate future research using quantum computers to simulate quantum systems, focusing on the chemical reactions of fuel cell catalysts.

In a new white paper titled "Applicability of Quantum Computing to Oxygen Reduction Reaction Simulations", the three partners report accurate modeling of the oxygen reduction reaction ("ORR") at the surface of a platinum-based catalyst. ORR is the chemical reaction in the process that converts hydrogen and oxygen to water and electricity in a fuel cell and limits the efficiency of the process. It is relatively slow and requires a large amount of platinum catalyst, so it is of great interest and value to better understand the underlying mechanisms involved in the reaction.

Using Quantinuum's H-series quantum computer, the collaborative team has demonstrated the applicability of quantum computing in an industrial workflow to improve our understanding of a critical chemical reaction. The three companies plan to continue collaborating to explore the use of quantum computing to address relevant industry challenges.

Dr. Peter Lehnert, Vice President Research Technologies at the BMW Group, stated: "Circularity and sustainable mobility compel us to search for new materials to create more efficient products and shape the future user experience. The ability to simulate the properties of materials with relevant chemical precision and the advantages of quantum computing hardware acceleration provide us with the right tools to accelerate innovation in this critical area."

As a pioneer in the global automotive market, the BMW Group recognizes the transformative potential of quantum computing and its importance in the research of new materials, where it can enable faster and more efficient processes while reducing laboratory prototypes. Approaching one of the most fundamental electrochemical processes and simulating it accurately for the first time using quantum computing marks a substantial step towards the sustainable energy transition, which will benefit metal-air batteries and other products with improved efficiency.

Isabell Gradert, Vice President of Central Research and Technology at Airbus, explained: "We can clearly foresee the benefits of the study in our search for hydrogen-powered and sustainable alternatives, such as the ZEROe aircraft, which could be powered by fuel cell engines. The study confirms that quantum computing is maturing at the scale we need for aviation."

Airbus has identified hydrogen as a promising candidate to power low-carbon aircraft, because it emits no CO2 in flight, when generated from renewable energy. The company previously announced plans to begin testing a hydrogen fuel cell propulsion system aboard its ZEROe demonstration aircraft in the coming years. The company has ambitions to develop the world's first hydrogen-powered commercial aircraft for commercialization by 2035.

Ilyas Khan, Product Manager at Quantinuum, said: "We are pleased to have been working for some time with the BMW Group and Airbus, two leading companies in their fields who recognize that quantum computing could play a key role in advancing sustainable mobility in In this pioneering work, we demonstrate how to integrate quantum computing into the industrial workflows of two of the world's most technologically advanced companies, tackling materials science problems that are a primary goal for progress using quantum computing. ".

The research team hopes that understanding the ORR reaction will help them identify alternative materials that can improve performance and reduce production costs of fuel cells. Accurately modeling chemical reactions such as ORR is an intricate task for classical computers, due to the quantum properties of the chemical mechanisms involved, so these simulations are a good candidate to benefit from a possible quantum advantage in the future.

Notes for editors:

About Quantinium

Quantinuum is the world's largest independent quantum computing company, formed by combining the world's leading hardware from Honeywell Quantum Solutions and class-leading middleware and applications from Cambridge Quantum. Quantinuum is a science company accelerating quantum computing and application development in the fields of chemistry, cybersecurity, finance, and optimization. Their goal is to create scalable, commercial quantum solutions to solve the world's most pressing problems in fields such as energy, logistics, climate change, and healthcare. The company employs more than 480 people, including more than 350 scientists and engineers, at eight sites throughout the United States, Europe and Japan. For more information, visit The Honeywell trademark is used under license from Honeywell International Inc. Honeywell does not represent or warrant this service.

BMW Group

With its four brands BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad, the BMW Group is the world's leading manufacturer of premium automobiles and motorcycles and also offers premium mobility and financial services. The BMW Group production network comprises more than 30 production sites worldwide; the company has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.

In 2022, the BMW Group sold almost 2.4 million passenger cars and more than 202,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before taxes in the financial year 2022 was 23,500 million euros on income that amounted to 142,600 million euros. As of December 31, 2022, the BMW Group had a workforce of 149,475 employees.

The success of the BMW Group has always been based on long-term thinking and responsible action. The company set the course for the future at an early stage and makes sustainability and efficient resource management a central element of its strategic direction, from the supply chain through production to the end of the production phase. use of all products.

About Airbus

Airbus is a pioneer in the sustainable aerospace sector for a safe and united world. The Company constantly innovates to offer the most efficient and technologically advanced solutions in the aerospace, defense and connected services sectors. In commercial aircraft, Airbus offers the most modern and fuel-efficient aircraft. Airbus is also a European leader in defense and security and one of the world's leading space businesses. In helicopters, Airbus offers the world's most efficient civil and military helicopter solutions.


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