How hydrogen planes will help the world

ARTICLES | Jan 24, 2022
How hydrogen planes will help the world

Clean energy is vital for sustainable development that reduces carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere.

Hydrogen is a key element in zero-emission (ZEROe) policy because it can be extracted from water, instead of methane with carbon impurities. Hydrogen is already used as rocket fuel. Using it with other vehicles looks feasible. Two factors are crucial: hydrogen vehicles and eco-friendly ways to get hydrogen from water. It’s underway right now in aviation.

A hydrogen-fueled unmanned aircraft completed its first flight in 2011. A four-seat plane took its maiden flight in 2016. Airbus launched the ZEROe initiative in 2020 to fly non-carbon emission aircrafts by 2035. Liquid hydrogen that generates only water vapor was prepared in 2021 for a 7-hour flight experiment scheduled for 2022. The world will soon welcome new green airplanes. Perhaps we’ll no longer need to worry about carbon emissions from our long-distance flights.

Important implications for the future:

- Hydrogen energy service is a new infrastructure that airports will need by the 2030s.

- Hydrogen in aviation can lead to its adoption in other vehicles.

- Hydrogen from water will further realize the hope of eliminating carbon emissions and enhancing the environment.

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