Airport owners and operators need a plan for the delivery and storage of hydrogen now, says Jacobs Engineering Group.
The Texas, US-based firm has today (June 15) released its research titled, Airports as Catalysts for Decarbonisation, which it builds on the Aerospace Technology Institute’s FlyZero Report, providing a roadmap for airports to implement hydrogen fuelling technology.
According to the research, airports must make investments in planning, designing, consulting on, and implementing new infrastructure, ahead of the first commercially available hydrogen-powered aircrafts, expected in the mid-2030s.
Jacobs’ research identified three scenarios for the supply and storage of hydrogen for airports: the delivery of liquid hydrogen directly to the airport by truck; the use of a hydrogen gas pipeline with on-site liquefaction; and the use of electrolysis for hydrogen production at the airport.
The report also said, “Therefore, the initial investment based on the Scenario 1 approach will be a lower cost than capital intensive hydrogen pipelines or electrolysis
“As pressure continues to grow from consumers for businesses to demonstrate that they are achieving emission reduction and wider sustainability targets, an expanding hydrogen network will create further economies of scale as more actors invest in the infrastructure.”
The Jacobs report comes on the same day that Air Liquide and Groupe ADP announced a joint venture to provide hydrogen infrastructure services to airports.
Andrew Gibson, Global Solutions Director for Aviation at Jacobs, said, “Early adoption of fuelling infrastructure is critical to the implementation and success of hydrogen-fuelled aircraft.
“Hydrogen has the potential to be the core component for the decarbonisation of aviation. Airport operators and owners must build partnerships with local businesses and other transport operators to initiate the use of hydrogen in the immediate term.
“By incrementally building the hydrogen supply and distribution of infrastructure from a short-term starting point, airports can be ready for hydrogen-powered planes as soon as they are commercially viable.”
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