Booking your first zero-emissions flight

Electric and hydrogen-fueled planes are coming. But will they really decarbonize aviation?

On the Catalyst with Shayle Kann podcast this week:

There’s a crowd of low-carbon technologies vying for a slice of the aviation market. On one hand, the long-haul portion of the market will likely rely on sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs), which still emit greenhouse gases but could be offset to achieve net zero. On the other hand, there’s a big share of air traffic that could go completely zero emissions with the help of batteries and hydrogen. 

So how soon will you be able to book a ticket on a zero-emissions flight? And what routes are possible?

In this episode, Shayle talks with Jayant Mukhopadhaya, a researcher at the International Council on Clean Transportation. Jayant recently authored two reports, one on electric aircraft and one on hydrogen aircraft. Shayle and Jayant dig in on some tough questions: 

  • Can electric aircraft take incremental steps into the market given the limitations of current battery energy densities, or do they need a technology breakthrough?
  • How do hydrogen fuel cells, compressed hydrogen combustion and liquid hydrogen combustion compare?
  • How do airports need to prepare for hydrogen fueling? Hint: Terminal-sized upgrades.

Catalyst is a co-production of Post Script Media and Canary Media.

Recommended reading and resources:

  • Canary Media: Can battery-powered airplanes decarbonize air travel? 
  • Canary Media: How do we clean up air travel? Fuel from fast-food grease is just the start
  • Bloomberg (video): Hydrogen May Be the Jet Fuel of the Future
  • Catalyst: A bumpy ride toward decarbonizing aviation

Catalyst is supported by Antenna Group. For 25 years, Antenna has partnered with leading clean-economy innovators to build their brands and accelerate business growth. If you’re a startup, investor, enterprise or innovation ecosystem that’s creating positive change, Antenna is ready to power your impact. Visit antennagroup.com to learn more.

Solar Power International and Energy Storage International are returning in person this year as part of RE+. Come join everyone in Anaheim for the largest B2B clean energy event in North America. Catalyst listeners can receive 15% off a full conference, non-member pass using promo code CANARY15. Register here.