1. Sustainable aviation fuel
A new technology unveiled by Johnson Matthey is able to efficiently convert carbon dioxide and green hydrogen into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), the global leader in sustainable technologies revealed. Matthey is operating since 1817 having specialised in science, innovation and sustainability.
The aviation sector is widely considered a hard-to-decarbonise sector but several operators are committed to phase-out fossil-based jet fuel by 2050, mainly composed of toxic kerosene. However, according to the positive analysis of the Executive Director at Clean Sky Joint Undertaking Axel Krein, aviation has an impressive track record in terms of efficiency and is now 80% more fuel efficient than when mass travel first began in 1970.
Hydrogen will be a game-changer for aviation, but effective hydrogen deployment will require several new technologies and innovations to adapt to the specific needs of this energy carrier.Axel Krein, Executive Director at Clean Sky Joint Undertaking
With the new technology from Johnson Matthey, dubbed HyCOgen, sustainable aviation fuel could become a reality quicker than expected, while also growing the demand for green hydrogen to create it. In turn, this could create an incentive to generate green hydrogen with buyers looking to create sustainable aviation fuel from it.
Hydrogen-powered aircraft produce zero carbon dioxide emissions and, depending on the technology used, can substantially reduce or even eliminate air pollutants such as nitrogen oxide.
“Hydrogen will be a game-changer for aviation, but effective hydrogen deployment will require several new technologies and innovations to adapt to the specific needs of this energy carrier. For example, hydrogen requires more than three times the tank volume of kerosene, and liquid hydrogen must also be stored at temperatures of -253C,“ noted Krein on LinkedIn.
Last year, Johnson Matthey announced a partnership with Hystar to develop next-generation electrolyser technology which is expected to help boost green hydrogen production capabilities.
Under the agreement, Johnson Matthey will collaborate with Hystar to provide catalyst coated membranes (CCMs) for use in the company’s innovative proton exchange membrane (PEM) stack and electrolyser system package, which offers a significant improvement in efficiency.
The firm says that scalability of the integrated HyCOgen solution enables cost-effective deployment across a wide range of project sizes from small-scale, fed by hydrogen from a single electrolyser, through to world-scale with multiple large electrolyser modules.
Such process provides the basis to scale the technology to meet the growing demands of both green hydrogen production and the generation for the required SAF for air transportation, Johnson Matthey said.
Johnson Matthey’s Sector Chief Executive Jane Toogood understands the hurdles in shifting from hydrocarbon-based aviation fuel to alternatives such as battery electric or hydrogen and she’s confident HyCOgen will be revolutionary. “This is where Johnson Matthey’s longstanding expertise and market-leading position in syngas generation technology can play a crucial role, by providing solutions that enable the production of sustainable drop-in fuels that are deployable today.”