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Sustainable Air Travel On Liquid Hydrogen

Growing annually, transport currently uses up 20% of all energy use around the world – and that figure is only set to rise.

As a result, a study by eminent physicist Jo Hermans in MRS Energy and Sustainability–A Review Journal (MRS E&S) has looked at efficient energy use for a variety of forms of transport, including buses, aircraft and cruise ships.

The findings reveal that liquid hydrogen appear to be the most long term, realistic option for sustainable air travel in the future.

In Professor Herman’s findings he reveals that in a post fossil fuel era liquid hydrogen could be a possible fuel resource, saying, “Given the severe weight limitations for fuel in aircraft, liquid hydrogen may be a viable alternative in the long run.”

Hermans discounts the use of solar power for air travel without revolutionary changes in the airplane concept, but concludes that it seems wise to extend the availability of oil products as long as possible. However, he argues that the low cost of kerosene is a huge disincentive in this respect:

“It is a defect that kerosene is so irrationally cheap, which triggers much unnecessary air travel,” he writes. “A worldwide tax on kerosene–if at all politically possible–should be something to pursue.”