General Electric delves into hydrogen technology. This time in his aviation division.
General Electric (ticker: GE), along with
Saffron (SAF.France), its partner in CFM, and
Airbus (AIR.France), announced on Wednesday that it will test a huge commercial aircraft A380 on hydrogen fuel.
“The goal of the project is to demonstrate technology,” said Massimo Variani, Europe’s system leader in the hydrogen program, in a GE press release. “The important thing is that we have demonstrated that we can fly with an engine that burns only hydrogen, we have the ability to store hydrogen on the plane and we have a system that is able to distribute hydrogen fuel to the combustion chamber with proper characteristics. ».
Storing hydrogen on an airplane will not be easy. Hydrogen is a gas under normal conditions. It will need to be compressed into a liquid to be used as a replacement for jet fuel. This means that it is cooled to about minus 423 degrees Fahrenheit.
The first tests are scheduled for the middle of the decade. An airplane that uses hydrogen as fuel can carry paying passengers for the rest of the decade.
Hydrogen fuel is more expensive today than jet fuel, but it is one way the global aviation industry can reduce its carbon footprint. Traditional jet fuel is a fossil fuel derived from oil. Its combustion produces carbon dioxide, the main gas that is to blame for global climate change. Hydrogen can also be burned, but when burned it does not produce greenhouse gases.
Hydrogen technology is receiving more attention in various industries.
Nicholas (NCLA) and
Power outlet (PLUG), for example, wants to build heavy electric trucks that use hydrogen fuel cells to generate electricity. GE is also considering using hydrogen technology in its energy division. The company is working to use hydrogen gas instead of natural gas to power some turbines that generate electricity.
Hydrogen technologies, especially in aviation, are still far from commercial applications. The news is not so much driven by GE shares. Shares rose 0.3% in pre-market trading on Wednesday.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
futures rose 0.6% and 0.5% respectively.
Shares of Airbus and Safran rose 1.9% and 1.5% in foreign trading, respectively.
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