Pratt & Whitney has been selected by the US Government to develop high-efficiency hydrogen engines for use in commercial aviation.
The US$4 million project Hydrogen Steam Injected, Inter‐Cooled Turbine Engine (HySIITE) project aims to eliminate carbon emissions and reduce nitrous oxide (NOx) inflight emissions by up to 80% for commercial single-aisle aircraft.
Pratt & Whitney will design the HySIITE engine to burn hydrogen in a Brayton (thermodynamic) cycle engine that uses steam injection to dramatically reduce NOx.
HySIITE will also use a semi-closed system architecture to achieve thermal efficiency greater than fuel cells and reduce total operating costs when compared to using “drop in” sustainable aviation fuels (SAF).
The funding is the first direct collaboration between Pratt & Whitney and the US Department of Energy (DoE) Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).
Geoff Hunt, senior vice president of engineering and technology at Pratt & Whitney said, “This truly is an exciting opportunity to start developing the key technologies that could bring the industry’s first hydrogen steam injected, inter-cooled engine from concept to reality.
“For nearly 100 years, Pratt & Whitney has been at the forefront of innovating cutting-edge technologies to continually advance the efficiency of aircraft engines, and we are thrilled to be selected to work on what could be the next breakthrough technology for aviation.”
“Pratt & Whitney has a long legacy with hydrogen-fueled propulsion, and we are excited to advance this emerging technology as part of our comprehensive strategy to support the aviation industry’s ambitious goal of achieving net zero aircraft CO2 emissions by 2050,” said Graham Webb, chief sustainability officer at Pratt & Whitney.
“Partnerships with public agencies such as the Department of Energy have a vital role to play towards developing and maturing technologies that could have a global impact on reducing the environmental footprint of aviation.”
Last week Airbus revealed a joint venture with aero-engine maker CFM International to develop and flight test a hydrogen engine for use in its future aircraft before 2030.