Why hydrogen flight is safer than traditional fuel sources

The 2020s are a defining decade for climate change. Each year, international aviation produces 2.5% of global carbon pollution which is more than two times the amount Australia emits each year.
The sale of electric vehicles has boomed over the past couple of years but the idea of aeroplanes running on renewable energy is yet to take off. Creating planes to fly on clean fuel is a lot more complex than cars.
Planes carry larger amounts of passengers for longer periods of time and therefore, are a lot more energy-intensive than cars. Most other renewables like batteries are not viable for aviation because they are too heavy to carry.
In today’s age, there is a strong desire for travel and we should not have to choose between our love for the planet and our love for travel when we can do both. This is one of the many reasons why Aviation H2 is developing an avenue to zero-emissions flight through hydrogen, as it provides the first pathways to achieving this.
Despite the fact it is cheaper, more efficient and less dangerous than traditional fuels, many people are still hesitant about the gas, which is one of the biggest obstacles holding it back.
For this reason, we wanted to debunk some of the myths surrounding this amazing energy source and explain why hydrogen aviation is safer than fossil fuels.

Burning ammonia instead of jet fuel

Comparative studies have found “hydrogen-powered aircraft are no more dangerous than conventional” planes. Hydrogen has many advantages that ensure a much more secure flight than fossil fuels and when handled correctly, it is significantly safer.
  • Hydrogen is not toxic and will not damage the environment or people when inhaled, unlike fossil fuels which can cause oil spills and create harmful air pollution.
  • In terms of weight, hydrogen is 57 times lighter than gasoline vapour and 14 times lighter than air. Meaning when released from the plane’s engine, hydrogen will rise away from the aircraft faster than gasoline, greatly reducing the risk of emissions igniting.
  • Hydrogen is less likely to ignite compared to fossil fuels due to its higher oxygen requirements. The gas needs to be exposed to 20 times more oxygen than gasoline to explode.
  • Gasoline produces an intense wave of heat when it is ignited. Meanwhile, hydrogen has a lower radiant heat compared to gasoline. Because hydrogen atoms are a lot smaller than other organic compounds, they produce less heat.

Key takeaway

While no flight can ever be 100 per cent risk-free, massive technological advancements have led to hydrogen being a greener, low-cost, more effective and secure fuel source for aviation.
At Aviation H2, our mission is to make an aircraft that is safer, carbon-free, and has greater operational outputs.
Reach out to us today to hear more about our journey to building Australia’s first hydrogen-powered plane or if you want to learn more about this the fuel of the future.


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