Equilibrium & Sustainability

Rolls-Royce rolls out hydrogen jet engine


Rolls-Royce has successfully tested a jet engine powered by green hydrogen, the company announced on Monday. 

“The UK is leading the global shift to guilt-free flying,” said Grant Shapps, the UK secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy, according to a press statement

The ground-based test is the fruit of a collaboration between the UK government, Manchester-based Rolls-Royce and London-based air carrier EasyJet.

The test was carried out at the British military aircraft testing site at Boscombe Down, using green hydrogen fuel generated by harnessing the power of wind and waves at the European Marine Energy Center in the remote Orkney Islands, between Scotland and Norway.

Green hydrogen is a fuel produced by breaking apart molecules like water or ammonia with renewable energy. Most industrial hydrogen is currently produced from — and by burning — fossil fuels. 

While green hydrogen produces no emissions, it costs more electricity to produce than it ultimately releases — making it a poor fit for applications like home heating or personal automobiles.

But with its strict weight limits and intense power requirements, long-haul commercial aviation is generally regarded as one of the most difficult economic sectors to make zero-carbon.

That makes it a rare industry where hydrogen fuel makes more sense than batteries — although many air carriers are betting on electric aircraft for regional travel.

“Hydrogen offers great possibilities for a range of aircraft, including easyJet-sized aircraft,” said EasyJet CEO Johann Lundgren.

“That will be a huge step forward in meeting the challenge of net zero by 2050,” Lundgren added.

Tags hydrogen engine Rolls Royce

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video