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international journal of hydrogen energy 35 (2010) 14631473

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Partial substitution of hydrogen for conventional fuel in an aircraft by utilizing unused cargo compartment space
Enis T. Turgut a,*, Marc A. Rosen b
Anadolu University, School of Civil Aviation, TR26470 Eskisehir, Turkey Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, 2000 Simcoe Street North, Oshawa, Ontario L1H 7K4, Canada
b a

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Article history: Received 25 August 2009 Received in revised form 10 November 2009 Accepted 11 November 2009 Available online 1 December 2009 Keywords: Hydrogen fuel Hydrogen storage Aircraft Carbon dioxide emissions Efciency

Options are being actively sought in aviation to switch from petroleum-based fuels to alternative fuels, of which hydrogen is a promising candidate, despite challenges associated with its production and storage. The possibility is demonstrated in this study of using hydrogen in place of some mission fuel without making substantial aircraft modications and while utilizing only available unused baggage space in the lower-deck cargo compartments of aircraft. The environmental impact reduction and weight increase are obtained accounting for a broad range of factors including aircraft model, seat capacity, passenger and baggage load factors, annual landing and take off cycles, container type, and costs of metal hydride and gaseous hydrogen storage units of various sizes. It is found that, while there may be a cost increase, CO2 emissions are substantially reduced, by 25,000 570,000 tonnes annually in several cases and by up to 1.1 million tonnes annually for the 10 types of aircraft considered. It is also determined that with present technology, despite the low density of hydrogen, the weight of storage systems constitutes more of a challenge than their volume in aviation. Large-body aircraft are found to have more difculties than the narrow-body aircraft regarding storage system weight. For the most frequently used narrow- and large-body aircraft considered, the number of the available containers within the required limits of weight and volume respectively are found to be 3 and 4 for the B 737800 aircraft and 2 and 10 for the A 340-300 aircraft. Overall, the combined usage of hydrogen and kerosene investigated here may be feasible in the future, but is a challenging option with present technology and aircraft due to various factors. 2009 Professor T. Nejat Veziroglu. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.



Despite annual growth rates of 46% or less in the global economy [1,2], air trafc in 2007 increased an average of 9.5% relative to 2006 [3]. The number of passengers reached almost 4.8 billion by the end of 2007 [4]. According to 2005 statistics, 33.7% of all air trafc originates in the U.S., which has 4.5% of the world population, while only 6.7% of air trafc originates

in China and India, which contain 34.2% of the world population [5,6]. Considering these statistics, it is likely that future air trafc growth could be larger than at present. Of the direct operation costs, fuel costs make up the highest percentage. Determining a standard percentage is difcult since it is affected by numerous varying factors such as oil price, operation and aircraft type and range. For instance, fuel cost percentage has risen from 24% in 2003 to

* Corresponding author. E-mail addresses: (E.T. Turgut), (M.A. Rosen). 0360-3199/$ see front matter 2009 Professor T. Nejat Veziroglu. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.ijhydene.2009.11.047


international journal of hydrogen energy 35 (2010) 14631473

Nomenclature APU auxiliary power unit BLF baggage load factor D diameter (cm) H height (cm) IATA International Air Transport Association ICAO International Civil Aviation Organization L length (cm) LD3 LD26 container types LHV lower heating value


landing and take off maximum take off weight (tonne) pressure (MPa) passenger load factor temperature (K) width (cm) weight ratio

Subscript R reduced

37% in 2006 [7]. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which reports similar values, fuel costs represented 14% of direct operation costs in 2003 and 36% in 2008, representing a value of US$186 billion. The main factor is crude oil prices, which rose from US$31 to US$111 per barrel over the same time frame [6]. Further, according to a study by Airbus [2], total fuel costs in 2005 for an 8.7-h ight by three different aircraft types (B747-400, B777-300ER and A340-600) were US$25,671, US$21,044 and US$22,388, representing 21.4%, 17.9% and 19.7% of total direct operation costs, respectively. These percentages are consistent with the IATA fuel costs as a percentage of direct operation costs in 2005. Currently, the usage of hydrogen or fuels other than kerosene in aviation has been very small, due to a lack of feasibility. Kerosene remains preferred by the industry since it has advantages over alternative fuels. Furthermore, many challenges are associated with the production of alternative fuels and their storage on board an aircraft. Nevertheless, several R&D projects have been conducted in which aircraft have own on hydrogen, either compressed or liquid. Conventional gas turbine engines require modication to operate on hydrogen since it has different characteristics than kerosene and is a gas (or cryogenic liquid). Necessary

modications are discussed in Ref. [8] according to fuel type and include compressor air precooling, compressor intercooling, hydrogen cooling of turbine cooling air, regenerative fuel heating and use of a hydrogen expander cycle. Many of these modications apply for cryogenic liquid hydrogen, which can be used as a heat sink. It is possible operate an engine with both kerosene and hydrogen, with less modication than mentioned above. One successful case is a Tu-155 which ew in 1988 using liquid hydrogen for the right engine only. A fuel tank with a volume of 17.5 m3 was located at the rear part of the main deck [9]. An extensive project using CRYOPLANE demonstrated for a medium-range aircraft that 812 tonnes of hydrogen must be stored in a volume of about 180 m3 [10]. The fuel tanks in this project were located over the fuselage, within an additional compartment. In addition, numerous assessments have been reported of the impact of alternative fuel options on aviation fuel systems in the short, medium and long terms. This research generally has found that hydrogen may be a promising option for the long term, alone or in conjunction with other alternative fuel candidates [11,12]. Lee et al. [13] expect in the future that signicantly different technologies will be needed, associated with new aircraft shapes, engine designs and power cycles,

Table 1 Aircraft models considered and their characteristics [1422]. Fuel quantity Volume of lower-deck (plus main deck for freighters) Aft (m3)
25.5 59.8 107.0 14.7 19.1 23.5 63.7

Aircraft model
B 737-800 B 747-400 B 767-300 B 777-300 A 318 A 319 A 320 A 321 A 330-300 A 340-300

MTOWa (tonne)
78 386 159 287 68 76 77 94 233 380

Payload (tonne)
20.3 63.9 40.2 64.0 11.0 13.2 16.6 21.2 45.9 41.0

Mass (tonne)
20.9 163.4 50.8 135.9 19.2 24.0 24.0 23.8 100.0 118.7

Volume (m3)
26.0 203.5 63.2 169.2 23.9 29.8 29.8 29.7 124.5 147.9

Forward (m3)
19.6 54.4 108.0 6.5 8.5 13.3 72.3

Total (m3)
45.1 181.0 114.2 215.0 21.9 27.6 36.8 51.8 136.0 162.8

Number of ightsb
1,085,479 375,445 516,097 73,565 23,841 683,634 2,027,925 426,904 69,640 143,473

Number of aircraft in operationc

1451 442 527 60 61 1092 1921 463 244 241

a Maximum take off weight. b Worldwide for 2004, based on data in Ref. [22]. c Worldwide since inception and up to August 2008.

international journal of hydrogen energy 35 (2010) 14631473


Table 2a Work required for compression of hydrogen. Compression process

Ideal work Atmospheric to 85 MPa Atmospheric to 35 MPa Real work Atmospheric to 80 MPaa Method 1 Method 2 Method 3 2.534.5 MPa

Required specic work (MJ kg1)

7.9 7.6


[24,25] [26]

21.6 15.5 18.7 18.7

[27,28] [27,29] [27] [30]

a The various methods referred to are described in the sources indicated.

and that liquid hydrogen fuel is the only practical alternative to kerosene in the long term (which they take as at least a decade) [13]. According to Nojoumi et al. [12], the earliest implementation of hydrogen fuel systems will be in 1520 years. They compared emissions from kerosene and hydrogen-fueled aircraft for different routes and types. The relatively low cost of kerosene combined with the infrastructure challenges of hydrogen and required modications to aircraft shape and engine does not indicate encouraging near-term prospects for hydrogen-fueled aircraft. However, technology developments may improve the future prospects for the efcient usage of hydrogen in aviation. The main objective of this paper is to determine the amount of hydrogen that can be held in present aircraft using

the available space in the lower-deck cargo compartments, to facilitate partial hydrogen fuel use, without substantial modications. Two commercially available storage types are considered: solid (metal hydride) and gaseous (compressed gas). Liquid hydrogen storage systems are excluded from this study since the liquefaction processes are highly energy intensive, as pointed out in subsequent paragraphs and Table 2a and 2b, and require complex infrastructure compared to compressed gas and metal hydride storage systems. Note that this is a preliminary assessment, and many factors have not been considered that ultimately need to be evaluated in detail before applications are implemented. Small and large storage units exist that can be used, depending on the physical shape and volume of the fuselage. For two of the common types of containers (LD3 and LD26), the advantages and disadvantages are investigated through two case studies. The rst addresses an infrequent route in Turkey, while the second encompasses all air trafc in Spain. Ten types of aircraft are considered, selected mainly due to the number in operation and their contribution to air trafc.



Table 2b Work required for liquefaction of hydrogen. Liquefaction processa Source Required specic work (MJ kg1)
4.3 [27],b

Ideal work Evaluated with average heat capacity 14.1 J/kg and heat of vaporization at 20 K 442.5 J/kg Evaluated with above assumption via alternate method Evaluated for conditions at commercial H2 liquefaction unit Real work Evaluated using heliumneon mixture Evaluated with conditions for largescale H2 production Evaluated using exergy analysis (steam reforming-electrolysis) Evaluated for H2 input at 60 bar and 300 K and output at 1.5 bar and 20 K Evaluated via alternate method 1c Evaluated via alternate method 2c Evaluated via alternate method 3c Evaluated via alternate method 4c

14.0 14.3

[27,28] [26]

25.2 39.0 51.156.2 18.4 36.0 48.054.0 42.1 36.0

[27,29] [30,31] [26] [32] [24] [27,33] [27,28,34] [23]

a Cooling is from room temperature (unless otherwise noted). Process depends on production scale and cost of electricity. b Based on industrial data provided by Air Liqude. c The alternate methods referred to are described in the sources indicated.

With present technology, it is not possible to replace all ight fuel with hydrogen. However using both kerosene and hydrogen at appropriate percentages may provide signicant savings in terms of not only cost but also environmental impact. In this context, we seek to determine whether it is possible to replace some of the required mission fuel with hydrogen, taking into account such considerations as ight type (short/domestic or long/international), aircraft efciency and type, number of passengers, etc. Storing hydrogen in the wings, as is usual with kerosene, would be problematic due to the storage volume and geometric obstacles. Additional problems would involve a need to modify the wing design, which would likely lead to a heterogeneous structure composed of part kerosene and part hydrogen that could lead different structures in different parts of the wings. Alternatively, the kerosene and hydrogen could be located separately, in the left and right wings, but this approach would require means to ensure accurate weight distribution and equalization to maintain the center of gravity through the longitudinal axis. Some alternatives are possible to carrying the hydrogen in the wings. One involves changing the conventional structural shape of the fuselage, as proposed in CRYOPLANE [10], to add a cylindrical aerodynamically shaped tank (single- or multiple-piece) over the fuselage. The advantage of this system is that it provides signicantly higher volume for hydrogen without reducing the volume for passengers, cargo and baggage. However, this option requires a considerably large monetary investment and would require extensive redesign to integrate such a structure into both new and old aircraft. A second option is to apportion some main deck volume for the hydrogen fuel. This approach was done for the Tu-155, in which a cryogenic fuel tank was located at the rear part of the main deck. This storage option seems to be the most


international journal of hydrogen energy 35 (2010) 14631473

straightforwardly implemented, but involves inherent payload reductions. Each of the above storage methods has advantages and disadvantages, but a thorough discussion of these is beyond the scope of this paper. In this paper, we investigate another hydrogen storage option. We seek to carry some of the mission fuel without changing the outer structural shape (as occurred with the CRYOPLANE) or reducing the payload (as occurred with the Tu-155). Note that utilizing hydrogen as the sole source of mission fuel is not considered, as that option is presently uncompetitive with kerosene. For this study, 10 aircraft types are investigated (see Table 1). These aircraft are selected mainly based on two factors: their utilization ratio in air trafc and the number of such aircraft in operation. Characteristics of the aircraft models considered are also provided in Table 1. The proposed approach is to use the lower-deck baggage volume for carrying the hydrogen fuel. After determining the average available volume (the space not used for baggage or other cargo), a wide range of statistical data was factored in. We consider two case studies. The rst case study considers the A319 model, an aircraft with a relatively low number of ights. The second case study encompasses all of the ights that took place at Spanish airports for January to September 2008. A wide range of aircraft types are included in this case.


Hydrogen storage

Of the available storage methods for hydrogen, metal hydrides, compressed gas and liqueed hydrogen appear to be the most viable with present technology. Many storage methods are undergoing research. Currently available storage methods usually use a signicant portion of the energy in the hydrogen to facilitate storage, depending on the type and state. Relevant equations of state for hydrogen for the range of conditions involved in this investigation are discussed in the Appendix. Values for the energy required in

the form of work to compress and liquefy hydrogen are listed in Tables 2a and 2b. It can be seen that an average of 6% and 15%18% of the lower heating value (LHV) is used for ideal and real compression, respectively. Similarly, an average of 12% and 21%47% of the LHV is used for ideal and real liquefaction, respectively. The difference between the real and the ideal work requirements arises from the irreversibility during real compression, which is not present during ideal compression. Trevisani et al. [23] point out that the density of hydrogen at 200 bar and 288 K is reduced from 14.5 kg m3 to 4.2 kg m3, when considering the gaseous storage equipment weight. Individual gaseous storage packs are generally 60 m3 in volume and have a mass of 250 kg, and are composed of 40 cylindrical bottles. It is reported that the same quantity of hydrogen can be contained in a cryogenic tank, which has a volume of only 3.5 m3. In this paper, we consider two types of commercially available hydrogen storages for air transportation: metal hydride and compressed gaseous. As a type of solid storage, metal hydrides form by the interaction of metals and hydrogen under moderate temperatures and pressure [35]. Hydrides can be formed using light metals such as lithium (Li), beryllium (Be), sodium (Na), magnesium (Mg) and aluminum (Al) or complex compounds such as lithium amide (LiNH2), lithium borohydride (LiBH4), lanthanum pentanickel (LaNi5) and ferro-titanium (FeTi). The main advantages of metal hydride storage include safety and relatively high storage density. The amount of hydrogen that can be stored is almost 810 wt% [35,36]. Gunshot tests with metal hydride storage tanks fully charged with hydrogen do not lead to explosions since the hydrogen is bonded with the alloy chemically [37]. These hydrogen storages have some disadvantages. For metal hydride storage, the main disadvantages relate to such factors as absorption/desorption kinetics and the temperature and pressure requirements. In compressed gas storage systems, measures to mitigate safety risks due to the high pressures add to the negative impacts of tank weights, decreasing further the hydrogen storage density. However,

Table 3 Physical characteristics of the sample hydrogen storage tanks. Characteristics Metal hydride (solid) storage Small (3300 L)
Pressure, P (MPa) Temperature, T (K) Volume of tank (m3) Capacity of stored H2 (m3) Mass of tank (kg) Mass of H2 (kg) Energy storage (MJ) Energy density (MJ/kg) Fuel-to-tank weight %a Length, L (cm) Diameter, D (cm) Width, W (cm) Height, H (cm) 0.4 298 0.023 3.3 37 0.29 34.8 0.9 0.80 38 55 11

Compressed gas storage Small (76 L)

45 288 0.137 0.076 53.6 2.17 260.4 4.9 4.1 95.4 42.8

Large (16,500 L)
0.4 298 0.115 16.5 190 1.47 176.4 0.9 0.77 38 55 55

Large (303 L)
45 288 0.434 0.303 170.5 8.64 1036.8 6.1 5.1 302.0 42.8

a Ratio of mass of H2 stored in the tank-to-tank mass, times 100%.

international journal of hydrogen energy 35 (2010) 14631473


Fig. 1 Lower-deck containers: LD3 half-width container (left) and LD26 full-width container (right).

these disadvantages are partly offset by the charge/discharge kinetics and lack of a requirement for specic operating temperature conditions. Compressed hydrogen storage consequently often is considered advantageous for mobile applications. Both metal hydride and compressed gas systems can be classied into two subgroups: small and large. Characteristics of each storage tank for both classications are detailed in Table 3.


Lower-deck hydrogen storage

Due to the potential hazard of fuselage damage caused by the sharp-edged and irregularly shaped storage tanks, two types of lower-deck containers are considered here to provide housing for the hydrogen storage tanks. These are known as LD3 AKE (half-width) and LD26 AAF (full-width) lower-deck containers. The dimensions and capacities of the containers are shown in Fig. 1. The maximum gross weight of the LD3 half-width container is 1588 kg and of the LD26 full-width container is 6033 kg. Because little data are available on the volume statistics for the baggage carried on airlines, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) volume limit (i.e., L W H 158 cm) is used here [5]. Accordingly, the largest volume is determined to be 0.146 m3, for dimensions of 52 cm, 53 cm and 53 cm. Assuming that the smallest size is 20 cm for

each dimension, then the average of 4950 different baggage volume possibilities is found to be 0.110 m3, regardless of the piece count. The total average baggage volume can then be straightforwardly calculated by multiplying the number of occupied aircraft seats and 0.110 m3. Taking into consideration the two types of containers and the two types of hydrogen storage techniques, the maximum weight of hydrogen to be held in the lower-deck cargo compartments can be determined for an LD3 container to be 11.97 kg (21 small and 4 large storage units) for solid storage and 82.14 kg (6 small and 8 large units) for gas storage. Similarly, the maximum weight for an LD26 is found to be 45.67 kg (122 small and 7 large units) for solid storage and 235.5 kg (1 small and 27 large units) for gas storage. The maximum weight can only be achieved using a combination of the large and small tanks; using only large or small units does not result in the maximum weight. For maintenance and practical reasons, it could be preferable to use only one size of storage tank instead of using two different sizes. However, that limitation would decrease the maximum storage capacity by 0.7% for solid and 5% for gas storage. These results are shown in Table 4. The mass and volume fractions of hydrogen held in the containers are provided in Table 5, on percentage bases. The mass and volume fractions respectively denote the ratio of mass and volume of the optimum amount of hydrogen to the mass and volume of an empty container. For instance, the volume and weight capacity of the LD3 container are

Table 4 Effects of different usage formats on the mass of hydrogen stored. Container Storage type Small units No. of units
LD3 LD26 Compressed gas Metal hydride (solid) Compressed gas Metal hydride (solid) 30 41 87 157

Large units No. of units

9 8 27 30

Combined units No. of unitsa

6S 8L 21S 4L 1S 27L 122S 7L

Hydrogen mass (kg)

65.1 11.9 223.5 45.5

Hydrogen mass (kg)

77.8 11.8 233.3 44.1

Hydrogen mass (kg)

82.1 12.0 235.5 45.7

a S and L denote number of small and large storage containers, respectively.


international journal of hydrogen energy 35 (2010) 14631473

Table 5 Mass and volume ratios for various hydrogen storage containers. Container type
LD3 LD26

Storage type
Metal hydride (solid) Compressed gas Metal hydride (solid) Compressed gas

Mass ratio (%)

0.79 5.42 0.79 4.10

Volume ratio (%)

22 100 30 99

4300 m3 and 1516 kg, respectively, while the optimum gaseous hydrogen volume and weight that could be held in this container are 4299 m3 and 82.14 kg. Hence, the mass and volume fractions are 1.00 (i.e., 4299/4300) and 0.0542 (i.e., 82.14/1516), respectively. It can be seen that gaseous storage has a much higher capacity than solid storage in terms of both mass and volume. However, supplying the high pressures necessary for compressed gas storage and maintaining these pressures on board safely raises design challenges. Solid storage, on the other hand, has fewer safety issues since the system operates near atmospheric pressure.


Results and discussion

The hydrogen storage capacities of commercial aircraft are evaluated in this section with the proposed approach by analyzing two cases: one involving an infrequent route in Turkey and another involving eight months of ight operations at airports in Spain in 2008. The second case can be used to predict the broader effects of the proposed approach.


Case study 1

In the rst case study, we consider only the A319 aircraft, which is a suitable aircraft type given the runway length in the airport of the relevant airline together with the range and the passenger capacity safely allowed. It is demonstrated in Table 6 that there is capacity, in terms of weight and volume,

Table 6 Characteristics of sample aircraft (A319). Characteristic

Year Period Landing and take off (LTO) cycles Mission range (km) Average passenger load factor (PLF) (%) Average baggage load factor (BLF) (%) Average baggage weight (tonne) Average payload (tonne) Average total baggage volume (m3) Available weight for H2 (tonne) Available volume for H2 (m3)

2008 7 months 34 2369 89.3/81.1 104.4/115.3 2.4/2.7 12.4/11.8 13.8/12.6 0.8/1.4 13.8/15.0

a Where two values are provided, the rst denotes arrival and the second departure.

for carrying additional hydrogen fuel. Depending on the average load factor, the aircraft could carry 800 kg and 1400 kg additional payload, occupying a volume of 13.8 m3 and 15 m3, for arrivals and departures, respectively. This difference leads to variable hydrogen storage potentials for arrivals and departures. Note that the situations for arrivals and departures are determined separately to provide insights, since for each situation the permitted mass and volume limits differ. The values used in design would ultimately depend on the situation which has the more stringent limits. The rightmost column of Table 6 (labeled Value) provides separate parameter values for arrivals and departures. Since the A319 is a medium-haul narrow-body aircraft, the volume limit restricts the amount of hydrogen storage to a maximum of three small-sized LD3 containers, each of 4.3 m3, for both arrival and departure. The weight limit further restricts the hydrogen storage capacity to only one partial load LD3 (since the weight limit is only 1516 kg), containing just 20 small solid tanks. A fully loaded LD3 (21 small and 4 large solid tanks) holds 11.97 kg of hydrogen compared to 5.80 kg for the partially loaded unit. However, 0.36 kg of hydrogen need to be carried (based on LHV) for every kg of kerosene, so there would be a fuel weight decrease to counteract the weight increase of the container. Nevertheless, in dealing with such small numbers of containers, there is little advantage to increasing the amount of stored hydrogen. Accounting for relevant factors, the optimum values determined by this substitution process are given in Table 7. Using previously reported information that the cost of 1 kg of hydrogen approximately equals 3.78 l (1 gal or w3 kg) of kerosene [3840], there would be almost no cost difference before and after substitution. The net weight effect can be disregarded because the fuel supply is considered to be for 100% of the passenger load factor (PLF) and the current fuel consumption already includes this additional weight. From an environmental perspective, there would be a decrease of only 1944.6 kg of CO2 emissions for 34 landing and take off (LTO) cycles. However, if the LTO cycle of this aircraft increases, CO2 emissions would decrease notably. If gaseous hydrogen storage is used instead of solid storage, the potential quantity of hydrogen stored increases 6.7 times to 38.9 kg for arrival and 6.9 times to 73.5 kg for departure. Gaseous storage also signicantly decreases CO2 emissions, by 13,065 kg and 24,668 kg for arrival and departure, respectively, as seen in Table 7. The manner in which weight limits suppress the available storage room that can be used is also examined. The LD3 containers, each having a volume of 4.3 m3, are determined to have room for 187 solid and 31 gaseous small storage units. Due to the weight limits, however, only 21% and 86% of the total volume of LD3 is occupied for solid and gaseous storage units, respectively. Signicant amounts of volume are consequently wasted due to the weight limits. Partial usage of hydrogen leads changes in net weight of the fuel systems. These changes are attributable to the increase in weight due to the addition of the hydrogen storage system, which is added to the conventional fuel system, and to the decrease in system weight due to the fact that the mass-

international journal of hydrogen energy 35 (2010) 14631473


Table 7 Technical, economic and environmental impacts of substituting some kerosene with hydrogen fuel, for solid and gaseous storage, considering arrivals and departures. Results Solid storage Arrival
Maximum H2 stored (kg) Storage (only part of 1 unit of LD3 is utilizable)a Weight increase from adding hydrogen storage system (kg) Weight decrease from substituting hydrogen for kerosene (kg) Net overall weight increase (kg) Available weight capacity (kg) Energy density (MJ kg1)b Net cost increase ($)c Net CO2 emissions decrease per LTO (kg)d Net CO2 emissions decrease per total LTO (kg)e 5.8 20S 0L 817.8 18.1 799.7 800 0.9 0 57.2 1945

Gaseous storage Arrival

38.9 2S 4L 900.1 121.6 778.5 800 5.8 0 384.3 13,060

10.5 21S 3L 1429.5 32.8 1396.7 1400 0.9 0 103.6 3524

73.5 2S 8L 1616.7 229.6 1387.1 1400 6.3 0 725.5 24,670

a S and L denote number of small and large storage containers, respectively. b The energy density of the hydrogen storage system is calculated by dividing the energy of the hydrogen held by the aircraft by the net overall weight increase. For example, for the solid storage for arrival, the energy density (5.8 kg) (120 MJ kg1)/(799.7 kg) y 0.9. c Tanks cost are not considered since the technology has not commercially developed sufciently. In addition, the same price of hydrogen and kerosene based on weight leads to no cost difference. d Zero CO2 emissions are assumed for hydrogen production. The CO2 emission is found as the product of the CO2 coefcient of kerosene (3.16) and the decreased amount of kerosene substituted by hydrogen for only one LTO. For example, for the solid storage for arrival, the net CO2 emissions decrease per LTO (3.16 kg CO2/kg of kerosene) (18.1 kg kerosene) 57.2 kg. e The total number of LTO cycles is 34, as given in Table 6.

based energy density of hydrogen is higher than that of kerosene. Values for these weight increases and weight decreases are listed in Table 7. It is evident in Table 7 that, even though there is a massbased energy density advantage for hydrogen over kerosene, the added weight (800 kg for arrival and 1400 kg for departure) of the hydrogen storage system is much more signicant, being an order of magnitude greater than the weight of the hydrogen fuel to be in the aircraft. For the gaseous storage case, for example, using almost 73 kg of hydrogen could provide a weight saving of almost 230 kg for departure, but a weight increase of almost 1390 kg occurs when the weight of small and large containers is taken into consideration. However, this relatively small amount of hydrogen fuel could be used for operating the auxiliary power unit (APU). According to the ICAO Air Quality Report, the amount of fuel burned in the APU is approximately 80 kg and 300 kg for short- and long-haul ights, respectively [5]. Therefore, it is seen that the greatest amount of hydrogen supplied in the scenarios considered (see Table 7) could compensate for or offset the fuel required for the ground operation of a shorthaul aircraft. The total energy required over a complete ight cycle is an important consideration, and is examined here for ights using all-kerosene fuel and partial hydrogen fuel. Under the assumptions of a 39 knot headwind with a passenger load factor of 89% for departure and a 36 knot tailwind with a passenger load factor of 81% for arrival, respectively, the fuel mass required for the ight can be assessed as 7947 kg and 6899 kg and the fuel energy required as 343 GJ and 298 GJ. Thus the hydrogen fuel capacity of this aircraft for departure represents only the 0.92% of the fuel mass and 2.55% of the fuel energy content of the trip fuel. Moreover, it is also noted that the total amount of fuel required on board is about 35%40% greater than the trip fuel, to allow for variations in weather,

passenger load factor, alternative airport characteristics and other contingencies. Despite the signicant weight increase associated with adding hydrogen storage equipment, a moderate CO2 emissions reduction is possible due to the use of hydrogen fuel. The results for the different storage systems considered show that the CO2 emissions reduction is approximately 7 times greater with hydrogen stored as compressed gas compared to a solid. Except for the expense of the tank systems and their installation, there would be little if any operating cost difference from the hydrogen substitution because for every 3 kg of kerosene, 1 kg hydrogen is used and the price of 1 kg of hydrogen is roughly 3 times that of kerosene fuel. Moreover, note that in this case the average baggage load factor (BLF) is assumed to be 110% which means that the passengers are carrying more than the maximum allowable baggage and are paying extra fees. Therefore, the hydrogen quantities required and the CO2 savings are likely to be greater than obtained for the general conditions. As multiple hydrogen production techniques are commercially available now and others are likely to be available in the future, there is uncertainty regarding future costs of hydrogen and the CO2 emissions associated with its production. Two common methods exist presently for hydrogen production: water electrolysis and steammethane reforming. Water electrolysis is environmentally benecial when the required electrical energy is obtained from renewable energy sources such as wind and solar. However, renewable energy systems often have cost disadvantages. Signicant reductions in CO2 emissions are possible if no CO2 emissions are associated with hydrogen production and if fossil energy resources are not used to produce the required electrical energy. Steam-methane reforming is presently advantageous in terms of cost, but not in terms of emissions of CO2 and other pollutants. These


international journal of hydrogen energy 35 (2010) 14631473

Table 8 Available payload capacities and usable number of hydrogen storage containers for selected aircraft. Aircraft model Seating capacitya LTO cycles in 2008 Available capacity Weight (tonne)
B 737-800 B 747-400 B 767-300 B 777-300 A 318 A 319 A 320 A 321 A 330-300 A 340-300 160 400 261 451 107 124 150 185 335 295 234,219 1498 7152 388 1419 112,386 322,877 77427 2707 11,166 4.9 25.5 15.1 20.7 0.7 1.3 2.2 3.4 13.7 12.7

Hydrogen storage container type

Usable number of hydrogen storage containers Based on weight Based on volume

4 11 7 13 2 3 4 7 8 10

Volume (m3)
17.6 137.0 85.5 165.4 10.1 14.0 20.3 31.5 99.2 130.4 LD3 LD26 LD26 LD26 LD3 LD3 LD3 LD3 LD26 LD26

3 4 2 3 #b #b 1 2 2 2

a Based on the minimum numbers used in full economy ights. b # denotes partial loading for only one container.

uncertainties in long-term hydrogen production affect the present analysis notably. The results obtained here (Table 7) involve several assumptions that could be viewed as optimistic (e.g., the cost of 1 kg of hydrogen equals that of 3 kg of kerosene; hydrogen could be obtained with no CO2 emissions attributed to its production by using renewable energy resources). These assumptions may prove valid in the future as positive trends are reported continually regarding hydrogen production costs and environmental impacts.


Case study 2

We now examine the results for expanded usage of hydrogen fuel. The available volumetric and mass capacities of the selected aircraft are shown in Table 8 along with the types and numbers of containers which would t into those spaces. As seen in the last column in Table 8, the larger aircraft have more available volume, while the weight constraints in those aircraft are at modest levels. For instance, the most frequently used narrow-body aircraft in the list, the B 737-800, can accommodate three or four LD3 containers for hydrogen storage due to weight and volume limits, respectively. On the other hand, the most frequently used large-body aircraft, the A 340-300 can accommodate two or ten LD26 containers due to the same respective limits. Rather than the sizes of the containers, the important factor here is the difference between both limits. The potential reductions in CO2 emissions for air trafc in Spains airports are shown in Fig. 2 for the aircraft types dened in Table 8. These values are determined for typical values of passenger and baggage load factors (1 and 0.8) and average passenger and baggage weights (80 kg and 20 kg). The emissions reductions are based on the potential quantity of hydrogen that replaces kerosene for each type of aircraft. For every kilogram of hydrogen, 2.8 kg of kerosene is eliminated, leading to an abatement of 8.8 kg of CO2. The rst case study considers an infrequently used aircraft ying with a high BLF factor. The corresponding CO2 emissions reductions are relatively low. When considering efcient

airlines and annual air trafc, the cumulative emissions reductions can be high. As seen in Fig. 2, the greatest CO2 emissions annual reductions are obtained from the B-737-800 aircraft, for which values are determined to be 83,100 and 569,900 tonnes using solid and gaseous storage methods, respectively. This aircraft had 234,219 annual LTO cycles. On the other hand, despite a high number of LTO cycles (322,877), the CO2 emissions reductions for the A320 aircraft are moderate, at 38,200 and 261,900 tonnes, using solid and gaseous storage methods, respectively. The main factor leading to these differences is the available mass payload for the aircraft types. The total decrease in CO2 emissions resulting from fuel substitution in the selected 10 types of aircraft is calculated to be between 0.2 and 1.1 million tonnes of CO2 annually. Note that the hydrogen storage capacities of both storage systems are low (0.8% for solid and 5.1% for gaseous systems, based on weight). However, with technological progress, increases in the weight ratios are expected. Therefore, the results obtained here likely are conservatively low values. Hydrogen storage

Fig. 2 Reductions in CO2 emissions for various types of aircraft due to substitution of hydrogen fuel for some kerosene using gaseous and solid storage (based on results in Table 8). Numbers of landing and take off (LTO) cycles are also shown.

international journal of hydrogen energy 35 (2010) 14631473


Fig. 3 Variation in specic volume with temperature and pressure for four equations of state: Van der Waals, BeattieBridgeman, RedlichKwong and ideal gas.

Table 9 Temperature and pressure effects on the difference of the RedlichKwong and ideal gas equations of state. Pressure (MPa)
3 15 25 50 70

Specic volume (m3/kg) At 300 K

0.00759 0.00792 0.00812 0.00845 0.00862

At 200 K
0.00635 0.00714 0.00758 0.00822 0.00849

Specic volume variation from 200 K to 300 K (%)

16.3 9.8 6.6 2.8 1.5

capacities could increase proportionally with decreases in the weight of the storage tanks.



The advantages and disadvantages of substituting a certain amount of aircraft fuel with hydrogen, using gaseous and solid storage systems and only utilizing unused baggage space in the lower-deck cargo compartments of aircraft, are demonstrated in terms of cost, environment and weight. It is determined for present aircraft that the combined use of

hydrogen and kerosene in the manner considered here involves signicant challenges. There are two primary limits to using hydrogen in both storage types: weight and volume. It is determined that, despite hydrogens very low density, the weight of the hydrogen storage system constitutes more of a problem than the volume. In all cases considered the maximum number of containers that can be used is found to be xed because of the weight limit, even though additional storage volume is available. Therefore, increasing the efciency of storing hydrogen, in terms of raising the mass of hydrogen stored for a xed mass storage system, can increase the amount of hydrogen that can be stored on an aircraft. The available weight and volume capacities that can be used for hydrogen storage differ with aircraft type and purpose. The numbers of containers that can be allocated to hydrogen storage are similar under weight and volume limits for narrowbody aircraft but not for the large-body aircraft, where the weight limit is more signicant and limits the use of available volume. For this reason the weight and volume limitations of hydrogen storage should be evaluated simultaneously. Partial substitution of hydrogen for kerosene fuel on an aircraft can reduce greenhouse gas emissions. When considering the all LTO cycles for January to September 2008 for 10 types of aircraft in Spain, which account for 43% of air trafc, it is seen that an emissions decrease of 1.1 million tonnes of CO2 per


international journal of hydrogen energy 35 (2010) 14631473

year is possible. This emissions decrease would be dramatically higher if all global air trafc is taken into consideration. Although the combined use of hydrogen and kerosene as envisioned here has signicant challenges due to the weight and volume constraints when considering present technology and conventional aircraft shapes and sizes, hydrogen storage technology development may reduce these challenges and improve the viability of partial hydrogen substitution for aircraft kerosene fuel. For instance, among these developments, which are still theoretical, a new idea of combining metal hydrides and high pressure was tested by Mori and Hirose [41]. With this idea, they found better results compared to those for 35 MPa high pressure tanks. Also, considering the service life of a typical airliner is around 20 years, advances may allow for the incorporation on future aircraft of hydrogen storage systems.

The authors are grateful for the assistance provided for this research by Prof. Dr. Mustafa Cavcar, Dr. Ender Gerede, and Mr. Mehmet Ergun of the School of Civil Aviation at Anadolu University; Ms. Esen Arkat, Chief of Customer Relations at TAV; Mr. John Johansson of Arlanda Airport; Mr. Robert Rudolph of H Bank Technology, Inc.; Mr. Semih Bicer of the Dispatch Ofce of Turkish Airlines; Ms. Erin Kessell and the Airport Division of the Statistical Department of Spain.

unusable above 62.5 MPa. The peak pressure also decreases as the temperature decreases, e.g., at 190 K, 170 K and 150 K, the peak pressures are 59.4 MPa, 53.1 MPa and 46.9 MPa, respectively. The RedlichKwong equation of state is convenient according to values obtained from the literature [44,45], and permits specic volumes to be calculated at very high pressures. Hence, the RedlichKwong equation of state is used to determine specic volumes throughout the study. Regarding the variation of pressure with specic volume, it is observed that increasing pressure does not provide the same reduction in specic volume at high pressures as at low pressures. Therefore, one should weigh the consumed power for compression against the gain of carrying more hydrogen. For example, Wit and Faaj [34] state that increasing the pressure of 1366 kg hydrogen per day from 0.8 MPa to 10 MPa (coming from the pipeline to the lling station) requires 160 kW, while compressing from 10 MPa to 70 MPa necessitates a compressor with a 1042 kW power capacity for 500 cars per day, if each fuel tank holds 2.73 kg. In Fig. 3, variations of specic volumes over a wide temperature range are compared for four state equations at several pressures. The effect is examined of temperature and pressure on the ideal gas and RedlichKwong equations of state. According to the analysis, for all pressures and temperatures, results with the RedlichKwong equation are higher than those obtained with the ideal gas equation of state. As seen in Table 9, the difference between the two equations of state at 3 MPa is 0.00759 m3/kg, while the differences at 50 MPa and 70 MPa are 0.00845 m3/kg and 0.00862 m3/kg, respectively.

To obtain accurately the specic volume of hydrogen at a given state, it is advantageous to use the most convenient state equation that gives results most compatible with experimental data. For sufciently low pressures (PR < 1), the gas behaves like an ideal gas regardless of whether or not its temperature is low. Here, PR denotes the reduced pressure which is the ratio of the pressure of a substance in a given state to the critical pressure of the same substance [42]. The critical temperature and pressure of hydrogen are 33.3 K and 1.3 MPa, respectively. Hence, using the ideal gas equation when operating at pressures such as 35 MPa or 70 MPa (the present hydrogen storage target pressures for transportation) could result in signicant inaccuracies. Therefore, the ideal gas law is often not valid for hydrogen storage since the pressure can be very high and the temperature very low. Besides the ideal gas equation, three state equations are common: (1) Van der Waals, (2) BeattieBridgeman and (3) RedlichKwong. Since data for the constants for hydrogen for the BenedictWebbRubins equation of state are not available, it cannot be used. The specic volume of the hydrogen gas is discussed for four state equations [42,43] by performing iterations using a computer program coded by the authors in Visual Basic 6. The BeattieBridgeman predicts the highest specic volumes of the state equations. The Van der Waals state equation cannot be utilized for very high pressures (70 MPa90 MPa) to calculate specic volumes. Parametric studies show that at a temperature of 200 K the Van der Waals state equation for hydrogen becomes


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