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Pratt & Whitney Selected by U.S. Department of Energy to Develop Hydrogen Propulsion Technology

As part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DoE) Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E), Pratt & Whitney has been selected to develop hydrogen-fueled propulsion technology for commercial aviation.

Pratt & Whitney has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) to develop novel, high-efficiency hydrogen-fueled propulsion technology for commercial aviation, as part of DoE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) - Courtesy Pratt & Whitney

On Monday (February 21, 2022), Pratt & Whitney announced they have been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) under the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) to develop now, high-efficiency hydrogen-fuels propulsion technology for commercial aviation. The Hydrogen Steam Injected Inter-Cooled Engine (HySIITE) project will use liquid hydrogen combustion and water vapor recovery to achieve net zero inflight CO2 emissions, while reducing NOx emissions by up to 80 percent and fuel burn by up to 35 percent for next generation single aisle aircraft.

In Monday’s announcment, Pratt & Whitney’s Senior Vice President – Engineering and Technology, Geoff Hunt, 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’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Graham Webb, added,

“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. 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.”

The HySIITE engine will burn hydrogen in a thermodynamic engine cycle that incorporates steam injection to dramatically reduce NOx emissions. According to Pratt & Whitney, the semi-closed system architecture will achieve thermal efficiency greater than fuel cells and reduce total operating costs versus using ‘drop-in’ SAF. Today’s announcment marks the first direct collaboration between Pratt & Whitney and ARPA-E.

A division of Raytheon Technologies Corporation (NYSE: RTX), Pratt & Whitney is a global leader in the design, manufacture and service of aircraft and helicopter engines and auxiliary power units (APUs) for commercial, military, regional, business and general aviation aircraft. Pratt & Whitney is known for their innovative technologies such as the Geared Turbofan (GTF) commercial aircraft engine and the PW800 business jet engine.

Source: Pratt & Whitney


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