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Rolls Royce is currently testing one of its engines using hydrogen to see whether it can be used as a viable fuel option for aircraft engines.

The tests are being carried out by Rolls-Royce engineers in partnership with easyJet, who has also contributed several million dollars towards the initial trials. The goal is to show that it is possible to run and control a jet engine using hydrogen fuel, rather than conventional aviation fuels. This is part of the longer-term plan which sees hydrogen playing a major role in allowing the aviation industry to continue to grow whilst simultaneously dramatically cutting aerospace carbon footprint. 

Hydrogen is currently being explored as an alternative fuel option in many other automotive industries to help achieve Net Zero by 2030. Typically, it has been common for large engines to be run on Kerosene which is a hydrocarbon and produces a large amount of carbon dioxide when it burns. However, Hydrogen doesn’t produce any carbon dioxide.

It is believed that hydrogen power is the best route and surpasses the use of electric batteries as it ultimately provides much more power per kilogram compared to batteries.

Although it is a long way off until we see hydrogen becoming a more common fuel source, the tests which are currently being carried out, are a step towards proving that hydrogen is a promising fuel option for the future.