GREEN TECH: Inflight, on-demand hydrogen production could mean ‘greener’ commercial jets for the future

Aerospace engineers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have developed and patented a process that can be used onboard aircraft while in flight to produce hydrogen from water (including waste water on the plane) and aluminum particles, safely and cheaply. The hydrogen can then be converted into electrical energy for inflight use. The breakthrough could pave the way for less-polluting, more-electric aircraft that replace hydraulic and pneumatic systems typically powered by the main engine.

The groundbreaking work was reported in a recent paper published in the International Journal of Hydrogen Energy.

This technology is expected to drastically reduce the CO2 emissions as well as make the aircraft quieter for those on-board. The system will be able to generate electricity for use on board more efficiently that relying on the main engines.