The start-up specialised in hydrogen aviation partnered up with Verne, an American company specialised in high-density hydrogen storage systems. Their technique allows for 40 % more storage capacity than liquid hydrogen and 200 % more than gaseous hydrogen at 350 bars.
Verne was founded by Berkeley, Harvard and Stanford alumni. The team includes Frenchman Vincent Heloin, former engineer at Air Liquide. The company’s solution consists of Cryo-compression (CCH2), which is a process that allows the cool-storage of gaseous hydrogen, while giving it the same properties as liquid hydrogen without the risk of evaporation and with minimal constraints (such as very low temperatures). This process has already been considered and tested by BMW in Munich since 2015 and by German Cryomotive, who, together with the French group Fives, develops cryo-pumps for easier refuelling of hydrogen trucks.
A partnership aiming to deploy this technique in airports
Verne has also worked on storage destined for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs). This player in Cryo-compression has caught the attention of big companies such as Amazon and Caterpillar who have invested in it as part of a fund-raising campaign. Ted McKlveen, Verne’s co-founder and CEO affirms that “Aviation is a massive potential market for Verne”. In fact, ZeroAvia signed an MoU with Verne to assess this technique that promises lower costs for hydrogen aviation and faster refuelling.
The two companies expressed their desire to extend the deployment of this technique to airports, starting with California. Chief Business Officer at ZeroAvia, Sergey Kiselev, states that “Increasing storage capacity and refuelling speed using novel technologies is an important avenue for scaling up hydrogen aviation”.
*MoU: Memorandum of Understanding
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Article written by Laurent Meillaud and translated by Mariem Ben Tili