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We don’t need to quit flying to avoid global warming, says expert – CNBCTV18

Hydrogen-fuelled planes are one of the solutions the aviation industry can adopt to avert the worst of global warming without giving up air travel, said an expert.

Aviation causes around 2.4 percent of the carbon dioxide emissions around the world. Taking into account other gasses and the water vapour trails left by aircraft, the industry is responsible for around 5 percent of global warming, BBC reported.

As per the estimates of Dan Rutherford, shipping and aviation director at the US-based non-profit organisation International Council on Clean Transportation, only 3 percent of the global population takes regular flights. However, if everyone across the globe took a single long-haul flight annually, aircraft emissions would go beyond the entire carbon dioxide emissions by the US, ICCT said.

The introduction of hydrogen-fuelled planes into service is one way the aviation industry can avoid causing more harm to the environment, giving individuals who take regular holidays abroad or fly on business, an opportunity to ride guilt-free.

Although, the interiors of a hydrogen-fuelled plane look similar to the hydrocarbon fuel one we use now, the aircraft are different, Professor Pericles Pilidis from the Centre for Propulsion Engineering at Cranfield University told The Guardian.  Planes using hydrocarbon fuel produces carbon dioxide when it burns, while hydrogen-powered ones only produce water, Pilidis said.

With hydrogen-fuelled planes, countries can reap the global benefits to aviation. However, introducing them will require time and a lot of investment.

“Hydrogen costs three to four times the price of conventional fuels. Plus, airports will have to change, because transporting hydrogen is not easy, and aircraft designs will change, too,” The Guardian quoted Pilidis as saying.

At present, the global aviation industry also does not have any rules around safety qualifications for these planes, which needs to be developed, the expert said.  To make hydrogen aircraft safe for travellers, the industry would require at least 10 years and “a lot of money”, Pilidis added.

Aircraft manufacturer Airbus plans to bring in hydrogen passenger aircraft by 2035. The company is looking at manufacturing a single-aisle turbofan jet and a turboprop commuter aircraft.

 

 

(Edited by : Sudarsanan Mani)

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