Holcim orders 10 Hyliion Hypertruck ERX Class 8 trucks
Researchers in China develop new method to enrich uranium in seawater by membrane filtration

Airbus opening UK Zero Emission Development Center for hydrogen technologies

Airbus is sterngthening its presence in the UK with the launch of a Zero Emission Development Center (ZEDC) for hydrogen technologies. A priority for the UK ZEDC will be the development of a cost-competitive cryogenic fuel system required for the successful entry-into-service of Airbus’ ZEROe passenger aircraft (earlier post) by 2035 and to accelerate UK skills and know-how on hydrogen-propulsion technologies.


The UK ZEDC will benefit from the recent commitment by the UK Government to guarantee (US$865 million) million of funding to the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) over the next three years to support the development of zero-carbon and ultra-low-emission aircraft technologies.

Establishing the ZEDC in the UK expands Airbus’ in-house industrial capabilities to design, develop, test and manufacture cryogenic hydrogen storage tanks and related systems for the ZEROe project across Airbus’ four home countries. This, coupled with our partnership with ATI, will allow us to leverage our respective expertise to realise the potential of hydrogen technology to support the decarbonization of the aviation industry.

—Sabine Klauke, Airbus Chief Technical Officer

Technology development at the new UK ZEDC, to be based in Filton, Bristol, has already started and will cover the full product capabilities from components up to whole system and cryogenic testing. End-to-end fuel systems development, a speciality of Airbus in the UK, is one of the most complex technologies crucial to the performance of a future hydrogen aircraft.

The ZEDC complements Airbus’ existing Research and Technology footprint in the UK, as well as the work on cryogenic liquid hydrogen tanks being done at Airbus’ existing ZEDCs in Madrid, Spain and Stade, Germany (composite structure technologies) and in Nantes, France and Bremen, Germany (metallic structural technologies). All Airbus ZEDCs are expected to be fully operational and ready for ground testing with the first fully functional cryogenic hydrogen tank during 2023, and with flight testing starting in 2026.

The launch of the UK ZEDC follows the opening of the £40-million (US$51-million) AIRTeC research and testing facility in Filton in June 2021, jointly funded by the ATI and Airbus, to deliver the next generation of aircraft wing, landing-gear systems and fuel system designs.



I worry about the prospects for H2 powered flight, or decarbonising flight in general, because you are constrained by weight and volume of H2 storage and processing.

It would be better to concentrate on decarbonising shipping (or trucking) where you are less constrained by volume and weight.

Maybe you could work out an offset scheme whereby money saved by continuing to use hydrocarbon fuels in aviation can be transferred to shipping, like a point to point carbon tax.



The idea that it is reasonable to simply ignore vast areas of technology to shoot down what you imagine to be the easiest targets seems to be to be both unreasonable and unrealistic.

Everything gets worked on at the same time, although at different levels of readiness and with different levels of finance.


I would be surprised to see hydrogen used for aviation except maybe for military aircraft. There are just too many problems with hydrogen with one of the main ones being the cost of "green" hydrogen. I would expect that short haul aircraft will become battery electric as the projected costs are considerably less than using the existing Jet A fuel. Eventually, I would expect that long haul aviation will use one of the so-called Sustainable Aviation Fuels. Note that SAF may use some hydrogen to make the fuel.

The comments to this entry are closed.