Hydrogen Aviation Powerlist 2023
Our report provides a comprehensive overview of sustainable aviation focused on hydrogen, and highlights over 110 companies working on hydrogen projects.
Understanding the potential of Hydrogen-powered aviation
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At the moment, Hydrogen is the only viable candidate for an alternative propulsion system that can power aircraft for longer distances, while significantly cutting carbon emissions.
However, significant challenges need to be overcome before hydrogen aviation becomes a reality. These include storage, transportation, infrastructure and the issue of hydrogen leaks.
While it’s potential finds many supporters, an equal number of people are convinced that hydrogen-powered flights are a fool’s errand. Very few topics in the sustainable aviation space elicit as many strong reactions as does hydrogen.
Our report aims to provide a comprehensive overview of sustainable aviation that is focused on hydrogen. Our goal is to examine the reasons why hydrogen is a pathway that is worth investing in and explore the potential benefits it has to offer.
So, why is hydrogen controversial?
Hydrogen has a low energy density. This means it takes significantly larger volumes of hydrogen to supply the same energy as jet fuels (or SAF), hence requiring more space to store enough energy to power flights, especially for long distances.
Most hydrogen is currently produced from fossil fuels, which undermines the environmental benefits of hydrogen-powered flight.
Developing a hydrogen refuelling infrastructure at airports worldwide requires significant investment.
Usage of resources
Using green hydrogen in aviation diverts it away from sectors where it could do more good in terms of decarbonisation.
Liquifying hydrogen tends to improve its energy density. However, liquid hydrogen must be stored at extremely low temperatures (-253°C) which requires specialised and heavy cryogenic storage systems.