Airbus Begins Green Hydrogen Partnership With Australian Group

Airbus’ ZEROe turboprop concept aircraft.
Credit: Airbus

Airbus and Australia-based Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) have signed an MOU to study the use of liquid hydrogen and power-to-liquid fuels for aviation. 

A joint taskforce will assess challenges around green hydrogen regulations, infrastructure and global supply chains. This will include the production of green hydrogen and the infrastructure needed to support delivery to airports and fuel aircraft. 

A subsidiary of the world’s fourth-largest iron-ore mining company, FFI plans to produce green hydrogen and green ammonia as fuels. Green hydrogen is created by using renewable energy sources to power electrolysis that sees electricity run through demineralized water, splitting it into hydrogen and oxygen. 

In November 2021, FFI and zero-emissions propulsion startup Universal Hydrogen (UH2) agreed to an MOU to negotiate a global offtake agreement for green hydrogen to power the fuel-cell powertrain retrofits UH2 is developing for regional aircraft. Icelandair Group issued a LOI to UH2 to convert its De Havilland Canada Dash 8 aircraft with hydrogen-electric propulsion. 

One of Airbus’ zero emission (ZEROe) concepts is a hybrid-hydrogen turboprop aircraft. At the recent Singapore Airshow, Airbus said the model would become a reality by 2035, ahead of the hybrid turbofan and blended wing designs it has also presented. 

At the same air show, Airbus, Singapore’s civil aviation regulator, Changi Airport Group and industrial gas company Linde signed an MOU together to study the development of hydrogen supply and infrastructure for aviation in Singapore.

Chen Chuanren

Chen Chuanren is the Southeast Asia and China Editor for the Aviation Week Network’s (AWN) Air Transport World (ATW) and the Asia-Pacific Defense Correspondent for AWN, joining the team in 2017.