Airbus facility to develop cryogenic hydrogen tank system for future planes

Airbus facility to develop cryogenic hydrogen tank system for future planes

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June 1, 2022 0 By Amanda Giasson

The Zero Emission Development Center in Filton, Bristol has already started working on the tech.

Airbus has announced that it is launching a facility based in the United Kingdom, where a new cryogenic hydrogen tank will be developed for its next generation of aircraft.

The UK facility in Filton, Bristol has already started working on the technology’s development.

The company recently released an Airbus news statement sharing that the Zero Emission Development Centre (ZEDC) has already started its work on the development of the cryogenic hydrogen tank. Among the top goals will focus on developing what the aerospace company referred to as a “cost-competitive cryogenic fuel system” needed by its ZEROe aircraft.

cryogenic hydrogen tank - Introducing the ZEROe demonstrator - Airbus YouTube

The company first released the details of three ZEROe concept planes based on “hybrid-hydrogen” technology in September 2020. At that time, it stated that it planned to develop a “zero-emission commercial aircraft” with a 2035 target.

The ZEDC will be working with a number of similar sites from other countries including France, Germany and Spain.

“All Airbus ZEDCs are expected to be fully operational and ready for ground testing with the first fully functional cryogenic hydrogen tank during 2023, and with flight testing starting in 2026,” said the company.

A growing number of aircraft companies are working on cryogenic hydrogen tank designs.

The reason is that H2 is proving to be one of the most promising fossil fuel alternatives for the hydrogen industry, and cryotank storage is considered to be one of the best options for its storage.

Aviation is “one of the fastest-growing sources of the greenhouse gas emissions driving global climate change,” said the World Wildlife Fund. That environmental organization also referred to air travel as “currently the most carbon intensive activity an individual can make.”

Aviation will “potentially face significant hurdles if we don’t manage to decarbonize at the right pace,” said company CEO Guillaume Faury in a CNBC report earlier in 2022. At that time, Faury discussed efforts Airbus was already making to burn less fuel and produce less carbon dioxide emissions. The company’s current models have received certified capacity for 50 percent sustainable aviation fuel while simultaneously developing the cryogenic hydrogen tank.