Liquid hydrogen fuel aircraft refueling infrastructure next on ZeroAvia’s list

Liquid hydrogen fuel aircraft refueling infrastructure next on ZeroAvia’s list

April 24, 2023 0 By John Max

The H2 powertrain company is collaborating with Absolut Hydrogen to jump this next hurdle.

ZeroAvia has partnered with Absolut Hydrogen to work on an issue creating a barrier to broad adoption of using liquid hydrogen fuel in the aviation industry, which is the lack of a refueling infrastructure.

The companies are determined to develop the infrastructure required by the aerospace industry’s transition.

The partnership is aimed directly at the development of a liquid hydrogen fuel refueling infrastructure for aircraft.

“The partners will work together to build and demonstrate liquefaction and liquid hydrogen storage in an airport context,” said the companies in a joint statement. They added their intentions to investigate an H2 “concept of operations, safety procedures and standards for larger-scale deployment to deliver liquid hydrogen to aircraft.”

Among the challenges their project will work on overcoming is that of keeping H2 at below -253ºC (-423ºF) so that it will remain liquified. This is one of the factors that has been standing in the way of earlier or faster adoption for the aerospace and other industries.

The companies plan to come up with a feasible liquid hydrogen fuel refueling infrastructure method.

Groupe Absolut subsidiary Absolut Hydrogen sells storage tanks for liquid H2, as well as refueling systems and thermal management tech. The parent company also has “customised cryogenic equipment” development experience.

Liquid hydrogen fuel - H2 fuel truck

“It has been critical to establish partnerships to begin building the ecosystem that can deliver liquid hydrogen fuel for larger aircraft at larger airport locations,” explained Arnab Chatterjee, vice president of infrastructure at ZeroAvia.

Why liquid hydrogen fuel instead of gas?

hydrogen news ebookThe companies are focused on liquid hydrogen fuel as opposed to H2 in its gas form, which has been the focus of many other potential applications such as in home heating or for land-based vehicles.

Liquification improves “the volumetric energy density of the fuel, enabling support for larger aircraft flying more passengers on longer typical routes,” said ZeroAvia, which has air tested more than one model of aircraft powered by H2.

“I am convinced this partnership will lead to new standards on liquid hydrogen infrastructure for aircrafts,” added Jerome Lacapere, CEO at Absolut Hydrogen.

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