Project Heart represents a collaborative effort involving three key entities: Protium, a company specializing in green hydrogen energy services; Haskel, renowned for their manufacturing of hydrogen compression systems; and Nel Hydrogen, an expert in hydrogen generation and distribution.
Gloucestershire Airport is set to participate in the Project Heart initiative, with the goal of producing, storing, and distributing eco-friendly fuel.
Initially, this trial will create fuel tailored for small aircraft with a 500-mile range, but the broader ambition is to ultimately deploy this fuel for larger passenger planes.
The facility is anticipated to commence hydrogen production during the summer of 2024. Notably, this initiative is one of several projects in the UK aimed at discovering more sustainable methods of aviation and reducing carbon emissions, recognizing that air traffic significantly contributes to global warming.
The project’s primary focus currently centers on regional airports like Gloucestershire and Kemble Airfields, where they are developing a refueling solution tailored for aircraft carrying nine to 19 passengers.
According to Jake Martin, the hydrogen business development manager at Haskel, Gloucester has been “leading the charge” in hydrogen usage for aviation.
He stated “We are developing hydrogen refuelling infrastructure for future fuel cell electric propulsion aircraft. So this is aircraft that will utilise fuel cells that are driven by the hydrogen molecule.”
“Heart will determine the optimal methods for safely commercially producing hydrogen, storing it and distributing it at the airport.”
“This is an electrolysis process, where we essentially get water and then we crack the molecule to give us hydrogen and oxygen.”
“We then generate hydrogen at the site, store it and then it’s going to be utilised in a fuel cell, essentially pushing the hydrogen and oxygen together, creating energy, which will then power electric motors on the plane. ”
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