One model of Airbus’ ZERO e-concept airplane, taken in November 2021. The company says it wants to develop a “zero-emission commercial aircraft” by 2035.
Giuseppe Cases | Afp | Getty Images
Airbus Is launching a UK-based facility focused on hydrogen technology. This is a move that represents the company’s latest attempt to support the design of next-generation aircraft.
In a statement Wednesday, Airbus said the Zero Emissions Development Center in Filton, Bristol has already begun to work on technology development.
One of the main goals of this site is to work on what Airbus needs for ZEROe aircraft, the so-called “cost-competitive cryogenic fuel system”.
Details of the three zero-emission “hybrid hydrogen” concept planes under ZEROe Monica have been released Returned in September 2020. Airbus says it wants to develop a “zero-emission commercial aircraft” by 2035.
ZEDC in the UK will participate in other similar sites in Spain, Germany and France. “All Airbus ZEDCs are fully functional and are expected to be ready for ground testing in 2023 with the first fully functional cryogenic hydrogen tank and to begin flight testing in 2026,” the company said. I am saying.
The environmental footprint of aviation is important, and the World Wildlife Fund describes it as “one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions driving global climate change.” WWF also states that air travel is “the most carbon-intensive activity that individuals can do today.”
KLM was notified of the proceedings on the same day as the company’s annual shareholders meeting. A spokeswoman said he would confirm that the group had received the letter and investigate its contents.
Expectations for hydrogen
In an interview with CNBC earlier this year“If we can’t decarbonize at the right pace, aviation could face significant hurdles,” said Guillaume Foley, CEO of Airbus.
Foley, who was talking to Rosena Lockwood on CNBC, explained many areas that his company is focusing on. These included ensuring that the plane burned less fuel and emitted less carbon dioxide.
In addition, the aircraft delivered by the company now has a certified capacity of 50% sustainable aviation fuel in tanks.
“We need to make sure that the SAF industry is moving forward, developing, growing to serve airlines and being able to use 50% of the capacity of SAF,” he said. “It will be 100% by the end of 10 years.”
The above represents “a very important part of what we are doing”. Foley explained. “Next, we’re looking to the medium- to long-term future for bringing hydrogen planes to market, because this is really the ultimate solution,” he said, requiring a lot of engineering, research and capital commitment. Said it would be. ..
Hydrogen, called a “universal energy carrier” by the International Energy Agency, has a variety of uses and can be deployed in a variety of industries.
It can be produced in several ways. One method involves the use of electrolysis, where the electric current divides the water into oxygen and hydrogen.
When the electricity used in this process comes from renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, it is also called green or renewable hydrogen. Most of the hydrogen production is now based on fossil fuels.
Airbus isn’t the only one considering using hydrogen in aviation. Last October, plans were announced for a commercial flight of hydrogen electricity between London and Rotterdam. The people behind the project want to fly in 2024.
At the time, the airline ZeroAvia said it was developing a 19-seater aircraft that “flys entirely on hydrogen.” In September 2020, the company’s 6-seater hydrogen fuel cell machine Completed the first flight.
— CNBC’s Sam Meredith contributed to this report