Aciturri leads the H2ELIOS project to boost hydrogen as an aviation fuel
The company is leading the consortium for the development of an integral liquid hydrogen storage tank for aircrafts.
Aciturri's proposal is one of twenty selected in the first call of the European Clean Aviation programme to develop technologies that will contribute to the decarbonisation of the industry.
After the proposal evaluation phase, the Clean Aviation Joint Undertaking, the public-private initiative cofounded by the European Union and reference for the development of new disruptive aeronautical technologies, has entrusted Aciturri with the leadership of the H2ELIOS project, funded with a 12.1 million euros budget.
Clean Aviation will allocate in this first call almost 728 million euros to the development of twenty projects led by European benchmark companies such as Rolls Royce, Airbus Operations or Safran, which also include those coordinated by two Spanish firms: Airbus Defence and Space and Aciturri.
The H2ELIOS project's objective is to manufacture and test a demonstrator of a liquid hydrogen tank for aviation, with a storage capacity of up to 150 kg, which will validate an innovative hydrogen storage concept devised by Aciturri and reach a TRL5 maturity level (technology validated in an industrially relevant environment) by 2025.
H2ELIOS will also demonstrate the possibilities of structural integration of this type of storage tank in an aircraft, minimising the weight impact of using hydrogen as fuel. In this respect, H2ELIOS will be a reference for the realization of more ambitious projects in a second phase of Clean Aviation, which will consider flight tests with tanks of up to 600 kg capacity.
Ester Porras, Engineering and Technology Director at Aciturri stressed that: "A process of transformation of our industry towards a more sustainable model is necessary and this is one of the cornerstones on which we focus our business strategy. The development of technological solutions for hydrogen storage such as the one we propose at H2ELIOS is a step forward in our commitment to the development of a clean industry and we are confident that it will contribute to the objective of decarbonisation of the sector".
Hydrogen has been identified as one of the main alternative fuels to completely eliminate CO2 emissions into the atmosphere during flight operation, and its reliable storage in aircraft is one of the main technological challenges facing the aeronautical industry on its path towards decarbonisation. The tank solution to be developed in H2ELIOS will be compatible with propulsion systems based on both fuel cells and hydrogen combustion engines or any kind of hybridisation between these and current propulsion systems. H2ELIOS will also ensure that the complete life cycle of the tank -which will be integrated into the fuselage- has the minimum environmental impact and emissions, considering recycling solutions for materials and efficient manufacturing processes.
In cooperation with Aciturri, several companies, research centres and universities are participating as partners in H2ELIOS: Alestis Aerospace, Piaggio Aerospace, Pipistrel, Test-Fuchs, APPLUS, AIMEN, Fraunhofer, CIRA, NTNU (Norwegian University of Science and Technology), University of Patras, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya and EASN (European Aeronautics Science Network).
H2ELIOS is being supported by EASA (European Union Aviation Safety Agency) to ensure the future airworthiness and certification of the solution and by an advisory board including Airbus, Linde, Lufthansa Technik, Iberia, Honeywell, ENERSENS, INECO and Cryospain.
About Clean Aviation
The Clean Aviation Joint Undertaking is the European Union’s leading research and innovation programme for transforming aviation towards a sustainable and climate neutral future.
Pulling together the best talent and capabilities of the private and public sectors and developing cutting-edge technologies and making these available for a transformational leap in aircraft performance in the 2030s, the Clean Aviation Joint Undertaking will pave the way towards the EU’s ambition of climate neutrality by 2050.
Operating at the centre of a broad and diverse eco-system of players across Europe ranging from the aeronautical community, pioneering SMEs, research establishments and academia, it acts as a hub for new ideas and bold innovations.
As a European public-private partnership, Clean Aviation pushes aeronautical science beyond the limits of imagination by creating new technologies that will significantly reduce aviation's impact on the planet, enabling future generations to enjoy the social and economic benefits of air travel far into the future.
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