Airbus – in dire financial problems –…

Airbus – in dire financial problems – talks of plans for hydrogen fuelled future planes
2020-09-24 09:46:00
Airbus has been publicising its hopes to have hydrogen-fuelled passenger planes in service within 20 years.  Apart from the technical problems of how to store liquid or compressed hydrogen on a plane, and how to transport it etc, there is the massive problem of the energy it would take to generate the vast amount of hydrogen that would be needed. Currently there is “blue” hydrogen, which is generated from fossil fuels, and the production of which emits carbon (unless and until there is CCS to store that CO2 underground) or “green” hydrogen, which would be produced using low carbon electricity, from wind farms etc. Currently there is almost no “green” hydrogen. There are claims that burning hydrogen at high altitude would not cause the emission of soot particles, so contrails might form less than conventional jet kerosene. It would certainly produce water vapour. The necessary atmospheric research studies probably have not been done, at scale. Hydrogen, like electric planes and wonderful zero carbon fuels, are the hopes of the sector – that their climate problem can be (improbably) solved. Meanwhile Airbus’ CEO announced it is in danger of collapse, due to Covid, and it needs to cut 15,000 jobs, or more than 11% of the group’s workforce. .Tweet   Airbus looks to the future with hydrogen planes 21 September 2020  (BBC) Aerospace giant Airbus has unveiled plans for what it hailed as the first commercial zero-emission aircraft. The company said its hydrogen-fuelled passenger planes could be in service by 2035. Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury said the three ZEROe concept designs marked “a historic moment for the commercial aviation sector”. The use of hydrogen had “the potential to significantly reduce aviation’s climate impact”, he added. The concept of emissions-free aviation relies heavily on finding ways to produce large quantities of hydrogen from renewable or low-carbon sources. Most large-scale production at the moment relies on fossil fuels, particularly methane, and is not considered to be low-carbon. Analysts point out that it is not the first time that hydrogen has been touted as the saviour of modern air travel.. Its use in aviation goes back to the days of airships in the early 20th Century, but the Hindenburg disaster in 1937 brought that era to an end. More recently, from 2000 to 2002, Airbus was involved in the EU-funded Cryoplane project, which studied the feasibility of a liquid hydrogen-fuelled aircraft. After that, the idea fell out of favour again – until now. ‘Decisive action’ Unveiling its latest blueprints, Airbus said its turbofan design co

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