Aircraft manufacturer Airbus and industrial gases company Linde have signed a memorandum of understanding to work on the development of hydrogen infrastructure at airports worldwide.
The agreement covers cooperation on global supply chains for hydrogen, from production to storage at the airport, including the integration of refuelling into ground handling operations, according to Airbus. Both companies plan to define and launch pilot projects at several airports from early 2023.
Details on the fuelling and storage technology are not yet mentioned – probably also in view of the early stage of the cooperation. For example, it is not even specified whether the hydrogen will be gaseous hydrogen under pressure or deep-frozen liquid hydrogen. However, both companies are already thinking beyond pure hydrogen: they want to analyse the potential of “power-to-liquid fuels” – i.e. e-fuels as a paraffin substitute or admixture.
The infrastructure is intended to create the conditions for the first hydrogen-powered Airbus passenger aircraft, which the manufacturer reportedly plans to have in service by 2035.
“We are advancing well with hydrogen as an important technology pathway to achieve our ambition of bringing a zero-emission commercial aircraft to market by 2035. Building the infrastructure is just as crucial,” says Airbus CTO Sabine Klauke. “That’s why we are working closely with partners like Linde, who have decades of experience and expertise worldwide in the storage and distribution of hydrogen.”
“We are pleased to expand our successful collaboration with Airbus to a global scope,” said Philippe Peccard, Vice President Clean Energy, Linde. “By harnessing both companies’ competencies we are well positioned to collaborate with airports and government authorities in the development of viable concepts for sustainable airport hubs based on hydrogen.”