Aviation, one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions globally, currently accounts for 2.5% of worldwide CO2 emissions. Hydrogen Industry Leaders explores how hydrogen energy can revolutionise the aviation industry and your everyday practices.
Green hydrogen, which is made using renewable energy, could be used to fuel aircraft through the use of hydrogen fuel cells. These work by converting hydrogen into electricity, the only by-product of which is water and steam, meaning hydrogen fuel is a completely zero-carbon substitute for fossil fuels. This means aircraft could be powered without producing any carbon emissions.
Using hydrogen fuel also enjoys further benefits. Firstly, hydrogen has a higher energy density than fossil fuels, meaning that it is lighter to carry on board while still achieving an equivalent energy output. As weight is obviously an important consideration when manufacturing aircraft, hydrogen fuel presents advantages during the design process, too.
Longer flight times without the need to stop and refuel are also a possibility. Being a lighter fuel, aviation companies have the option to carry more of it on board, meaning the aircraft can fly for longer. Hydrogen-powered aircraft are also much quieter, reducing noise pollution surrounding airports.
The UK Government also supports the switch to hydrogen, having published their Jet Zero Strategy with the goal of achieving net zero flying by 2050. Investigations into refuelling infrastructure at airports are already underway with joint government and industry support.
Finally, Airbus has announced its ambition to develop the world’s first commercial hydrogen-powered aircraft through its ZEROe project. Boeing also appears to be working on a similar concept. With the future of aviation seeming to move willingly towards hydrogen energy, it is important for all those in the sector to embrace the change.
Hydrogen Industry Leaders can provide support and guidance through our multimedia platform and in-person event series, where we bring together the people working in hydrogen with the people looking to transition into the hydrogen sector for aviation.