The essential role of epoxies in building a Green Hydrogen Economy
Airbus recently revealed new zero-emission concept aircrafts. All presented concepts rely on hydrogen as a primary power source – an option which Airbus believes “holds exceptional promise as a clean aviation fuel and is likely to be a solution for aerospace and many other industries to meet their climate-neutral targets”.
Indeed, hydrogen has an important role to play in the achievement of a carbon neutral Europe by 2050 as it emits no CO2. To store or transport hydrogen, the most mature existing solution is compressed gaseous storage in type IV pressure vessels. These type IV composite pressure vessels are mainly made of filament winding carbon fibre and epoxy over a plastic liner. They are extremely durable (lifetime of 25+ years) and very robust.
They are also particularly lightweight and thus consume less energy for transportation. If hydrogen-powered aircrafts are still at the concept stage, hydrogen-powered cars or trains are already a reality and are being increasingly developed as reflected by the 15 000 to 18 000 hydrogen-powered cars circulating in the world today.
Lastly, in order to reach a truly Green Hydrogen Economy, it is also essential to simultaneously develop efficient and durable renewable energy sources to produce “green” Hydrogen. And here again, epoxy resins have an important role to play as they are widely used in wind, solar and hydropower, the three of which are at the heart of clean and renewable energy.