The new capability will be used in research to develop and test new hydrogen-based sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs).
The electrolyser, from IMI Remosa under the new brand IMI VIVO, is being installed in the University’s Sustainable Aviation Fuels Innovation Centre (SAF-IC), which is the UK’s first R&D facility that is able to develop, test, validate and help certify new fuels.
The aviation industry is responsible for around seven per cent of total carbon emissions in the UK but aviation’s reliance on fossil fuels makes it a challenging sector to decarbonise, and new fuels are subject to strict standards and regulations before they can be approved for use.
Researchers from Sheffield will work with partners in the aviation industry to develop new hydrogen and CO2-based fuels that meet these strict standards. They will also work with other industries across the UK to help them switch fuels and decarbonise.
With the new electrolyser, the University will be capable of producing nearly 140Nm3 per hour of green hydrogen with storage capacity of 1450Nm3.
In a statement: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, director of Sheffield University’s Energy Institute, said: “In order to drive forward a decarbonised future, we must understand more about the possibilities and capabilities of green hydrogen, particularly with regards to sustainable aviation fuels. With this new electrolyser at our SAF-IC facility, we can work with industry and fellow academics to discover and demonstrate the best way to make a hydrogen economy, and a greener future, a reality.
Professor Pourkashanian continued: “We are thrilled to have the capacity to produce the green hydrogen in our site, so that our research and development into SAFs - especially via Power-To-SAF - industrial fuel switching and decarbonisation can continue.”
Efforts at the University to enable sustainable flight include being part of a consortium led by Virgin Atlantic that is set to lead the world’s first 100 per cent SAF transatlantic flight, which is scheduled to fly on November 28, 2023.