Hydrogen can play a role in sustainable aviation

Flying on hydrogen (LH2), if produced with green electricity, can make a substantial contribution to the sustainability of aviation. This is the conclusion from a new study by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT). To make hydrogen 'fly', the fuel must become available in many places and be cheaper.

Researchers from the ICCT looked at the practical and commercial feasibility of using hydrogen instead of traditional kerosine to power passenger planes. One of the conclusions of the report is that by 2050, almost forty per cent of all flights up to a distance of 3,400 kilometres could be powered by hydrogen.

First aircraft in 2025

There are challenges. The first relatively large hydrogen-powered aircraft are not expected to become available until around 2025. Airbus, among others, is working on such an aircraft that can carry around 165 passengers.

Hydrogen flying - not expected to become available until around 2025

The researchers also advise investing in infrastructure to make hydrogen available at a large number of airports. Governments should be encouraged to support this financially. Also the price of hydrogen for commercial aviation must come down in order to become competitive with traditional fuel and sustainable aviation fuel, according to the study.