The Future of Sustainable Aviation is Hydrogen

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3Q 2021 | IN-6207


High on Hydrogen, Low on Emissions


Before the COVID-19 pandemic, aviation accounted for 2.5% of global CO2 emissions according to Our World in Data. This might seem like a small figure, but if you add in the long-term decrease in ozone (O3), decrease in methane (CH4), emissions of water vapor, soot, sulfur aerosols, and water contrails, the warming effect is much stronger. Combining these with CO2 emissions, aviation industry accounts for 3.5% of global warming. Although it is still a relatively small piece of the emissions pie, the difficulty in decarbonizing the industry remains a key challenge. Other larger emitting sectors such as road transport and power generation have had solutions in the form of renewable and nuclear energy, as well as the development of electric cars to counter emissions. The aviation industry has not seen a proven and scalable solution, but things have begun to progress.

In the summer of 2020, a California-based start-up called ZeroAvia successfully conducted a maiden flight in the UK on a six-seater Piper M-Class plane that runs solely on hydrogen. This flight was supported by the UK Gov…

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