ZAL expanding hydrogen infrastructrure for green flying

9 August 2021
ZAL intensifies research with new hydrogen tank

The Center for Applied Aviation Research (ZAL) in Hamburg is using a new hydrogen tank, which increases research capacity twentyfold, a press release said Wednesday (August 4, 2021). Air Products in Stade is supplying the gaseous hydrogen. This comes amid efforts in aviation to overcome the pandemic and to make flying free of pollution and to protect the climate.

Hamburg relying on hydrogen

More than 30 partners including Airbus, the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Lufthansa Technik and ZAL's own GmbH, are researching aviation at ZAL. Hydrogen plays a key role towards achieving climate neutrality. "Hydrogen is the future. The new hydrogen tank shows that Hamburg as a centre of aviation is moving towards sustainability and zero emissions with concrete projects and measures,” said Michael Westhagemann, Senator for Economics and Innovation. The use of this forward-looking energy carrier in commercial aviation is "a team effort," said Dr. André Walter, Managing Director of Airbus Commercial in Germany. 

Cross-sector research laboratory at ZAL

ZAL is part of the Hamburg Research and Innovation Parks and has been active in the hydrogen sector since 2009. ZAL GmbH operates the so-called cross-industry Fuel Cell Lab, rents fuel cell laboratories and offers consulting, development and testing services in fuel cell technology. Around EUR 3.7 million have been invested in the lab infrastructure since 2015. The 20-metre-high tank now in operation means that around 400 kilogrammes of hydrogen, delivered by Air Products, can be stored on site.

Preparations to use hydrogen

In early July, Lufthansa Technik, the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the Center for Applied Aeronautics Research (ZAL) and Hamburg Airport announced plans to pool their expertise and research the effects of liquid hydrogen (LH2) on maintenance and ground processes. Funded by the city, an Airbus A320 aircraft is to be converted into a stationary laboratory at Lufthansa Technik’s base in Hamburg for this purpose. The concept is to be developed this year before practical testing starts in 2022.  

Link to Future Hamburg Talks on hydrogen

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