Science

Rolls-Royce completes the world's first run of a jet engine using hydrogen fuel

While we all need a vacation from time to time to rest and recharge, unfortunately traveling abroad by air has a large carbon footprint.

However, Rolls-Royce engineers have brought us one step closer to guilt-free flying as they successfully tested a hydrogen-powered jet engine.

The engine used was a converted Rolls-Royce AE 2100-A, and it was started and operated on hydrogen extracted from water using renewable energy.

While there are still some issues to be worked out before planes take off on green fuel, the test is a world first and is hailed as a “new milestone in aviation.”

The engine used was a converted Rolls-Royce AE 2100-A, and it was started and ran on hydrogen that was extracted from water using renewable energy.

While There Are Still Some Issues To Be Worked Out Before Planes Take Off On Green Fuel, The Test Is A World First And Is Considered A

While there are still some issues to be worked out before planes take off on green fuel, the test is a world first and is hailed as a “new milestone in aviation.”

Planes normally run on kerosene, a fossil fuel, and a Boeing 737-400 currently produces about 200 pounds (90 kg) of carbon dioxide per passenger per hour.

Air travel is responsible for 3.5 percent of the human impact on global warming, and many companies are looking for green solutions.

Rolls-Royce partnered with easyJet to conduct ground testing of its converted jet engine at the Boscombe Down military site on Salisbury Plain.

The engine was started and ran at low speed, using hydrogen produced at the European Marine Energy Center in the Orkney Islands.

There, the researchers split the water into its two components, hydrogen and oxygen, using tidal-generated electricity and wind power.

Hydrogen itself is considered a ‘green’ fuel, because when it burns in air it only produces water, as opposed to greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide.

Grazia Vittadini, Rolls-Royce’s chief technology officer, said: “The success of this hydrogen test is an exciting milestone.

We are pushing the boundaries to discover the carbon-zero possibilities of hydrogen, which could help reshape the future of flight.

Hydrogen Itself Is Considered A Fuel

Hydrogen itself is considered a “green” fuel, because when it burns in air it only produces water, as opposed to greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide.

The Engine Was Started And Ran At Low Speed, Using Hydrogen Produced At The European Marine Energy Center In Orkney.

The engine was started and ran at low speed, using hydrogen produced at the European Marine Energy Center in Orkney.

HOW DOES A HYDROGEN COMBUSTION ENGINE WORK?

Hydrogen is mixed with air and put into a cylinder.

A piston then compresses the fuel-air mixture, which is ignited by a spark.

The gases produced expand, driving a piston that turns a crankshaft.

The rotational motion spins the turbine, generating thrust.

Source: Airbus

Hydrogen Is Burned To Turn A Turbine In A Jet Engine

Hydrogen is burned to turn a turbine in a jet engine

Rolls-Royce’s hydrogen engine is still in the early stages of testing, with its current model’s wiring and channels exposed.

The British company has also been investigating battery technology for its all-electric plane, which could fly for 30 minutes on a single charge.

easyJet shared this goal, announcing in 2018 that it aimed to build battery-powered aircraft for flights under two hours by 2027.

However, David Morgan, easyJet’s chief operating officer, told the BBC that battery technology is “probably not going to work” for large commercial aircraft.

Hydrogen is much lighter to transport than a battery and is more fuel dense, but it requires much more space to store than kerosene.

To reduce its volume requirements, it will need to be kept as a liquid, but this requires a temperature below the boiling point of hydrogen of -423.0°F (-252.8°C) at atmospheric pressure.

It will also need to be carefully turned into a gas in order to burn, which will create more technical challenges.

Additionally, while the ‘green’ hydrogen used in the test was split using renewable energy, most of the 70 million tons of hydrogen the world uses each year is produced by burning fossil fuels.

To overcome this, some companies are looking to use ‘blue’ hydrogen to meet climate targets, where the carbon dioxide released is captured and stored.

But studies have shown that this carbon storage was more than offset by the leakage of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere.

Engineers Are Already Planning Their Second Set Of Tests, Which Will Lead To A Full-Scale Ground Test Of A Rolls-Royce Pearl 15 Jet Engine.

Engineers are already planning their second set of tests, which will lead to a full-scale ground test of a Rolls-Royce Pearl 15 jet engine.

His Project Has Been Strongly Motivated By The 'Race To Zero' Campaign To Which Both Rolls Royce And Easyjet Have Subscribed

His project has been strongly motivated by the ‘Race to Zero’ campaign to which both Rolls Royce and easyJet have subscribed

Blue vs Green Hydrogen

Blue hydrogen is when natural gas is split into hydrogen and CO2, but the CO2 is captured and then stored.

As greenhouse gases are captured, this mitigates environmental impacts on the planet.

Green hydrogen is hydrogen produced by splitting water by electrolysis, and produces only hydrogen and oxygen.

We can use the hydrogen and vent the oxygen to the atmosphere with no negative impact.

Electrolysis uses electricity from renewable energy sources, such as wind or solar.

Source: Petrofac.com

Engineers are already planning their second set of tests, which will lead to a full-scale ground test of a Rolls-Royce Pearl 15 jet engine.

His project has been strongly motivated by the ‘Race to Zero’ campaign to which both Rolls Royce and easyJet have adhered.

It means they have committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 by meeting a set of strict criteriaincluding taking immediate action.

Reaching net zero by 2050 ‘at the latest’ is in line with the scientific consensus on limiting warming to 2.7°F (1.5°C), set out in the Paris Agreement in 2015.

Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, added: “The UK is leading the global shift towards guilt-free flying, and today’s trial by Rolls-Royce and easyJet is an exciting demonstration of how innovation Entrepreneurship can transform the way we live our lives.

“This is a true British success story, with hydrogen being used to power the jet engine that is produced today using tidal and wind power off Scotland’s Orkney Islands, and is an excellent example of how we can work together to make aviation cleaner while driving.” jobs all over the country.’

Your car could soon run on air as scientists develop a new method for producing hydrogen fuel

Driving a car powered by thin air could one day be possible after scientists developed a new way to produce hydrogen fuel.

Green hydrogen, produced by electrolyzers using electricity and water, represents a potential alternative to CO2-emitting fossil fuels.

However, current devices often require complex components such as rare metals and access to pure water, which can lead to competition with limited supplies of potable water.

Instead of liquid water, the new prototype electrolyser collects moist air.

It absorbs moisture from the air and splits the collected water into hydrogen and oxygen.

This hydrogen fuel was then shown to successfully power a device.

read more here

Experts From The University Of Melbourne Said The Prototype Idea May Enable The Supply Of Hydrogen Fuel To Dry And Remote Regions, With Minimal Environmental Impact, Especially If Renewable Energy Is Used.

Experts from the University of Melbourne said the prototype idea may enable the supply of hydrogen fuel to dry and remote regions, with minimal environmental impact, especially if renewable energy is used.

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Jacky

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