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Will hydrogen be the key to sustainable aviation

By September 13, 2021January 4th, 2022No Comments

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Will hydrogen be the key to sustainable aviation

Oct 13, 2021 • Aerospace TechReview

The global aerospace industry is staring down an existential question with no easy answers: how can one of the world’s most carbon-intensive industries adapt to an era of heightened environmental consciousness?

“Globally, aviation produced 2.4% of total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2018. While this may seem like a relatively small amount, consider that if aviation was a country, it would rank 6th in the world between Japan and Germany in terms of total CO2 emissions,” said Dr. Alex Ivanenko, founder and CEO of HyPoint.

In a vacuum, those numbers paint a dire picture of an industry with significant problems to solve but limited tools to do so. The full scope of the problem, however, is yet more grim.

“Non-CO2 effects, such as warming induced by aircraft contrails and other pollutants, bring aviation’s combined total contribution to global warming to approximately 5%,” said Ivanenko. “Because decarbonizing aviation will take longer than other industries — new planes sold today will likely still be in operation in 2050 — that 5% of global emissions attributed to aviation is expected to grow to roughly 25% by 2050.”

As the environmental toll wrought by this vital but emissions-heavy industry is increasingly publicly visible, aviation can no longer comfort itself that only “flight shaming” activists are voicing concern. Studies paint a clear picture that Generation Z — who along with millennials will soon form an irreplaceable chunk of the industry’s consumer base —— is highly engaged with the environmental impacts of travel and will adjust transportation choices accordingly.

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