Investment in hydrogen technologies is an essential part of navigating to a carbon-free future, according to experts at Cranfield University.

That was the key theme from the Cranfield Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Showcase event on 20 September, which saw more than 250 delegates, including leaders from industry and science, alongside academics from Bristol, Southampton, Coventry, Wolverhampton and Aston universities gather for a series of expert talks and demonstrations. Businesses represented included Airbus, Barclays, Heathrow Airport, Rolls-Royce, Siemens, BP and Reaction Engines.

Visitors had the chance to see Cranfield Aerospace’s Britten-Norman BN2 Islander plane, which is currently being converted into a hydrogen fuelled aircraft, as well as the chance to ride in a hydrogen powered Toyota Mirai.

The Government’s Hydrogen Strategy sets out the approach to developing a low carbon hydrogen sector to meet its ambition for 10GW of hydrogen production capacity by 2030.

Professor Upul Wijayantha, Head of Centre for Renewable and Low Carbon Energy at Cranfield University, said: “The UK is a world leader in the development of hydrogen-based technology solutions, and so close collaboration between the relevant UK industry and academic institutions conducting cutting-edge research is extremely important.

“Cranfield’s H2 & Fuel Cell Showcase saw representatives from across 100 different industries come together to explore the latest developments in this area. It was a very productive and informative day with an impressive range of on-campus demonstrations. This included our £7.5 million 1.5 MW blue-hydrogen demonstrator HyPER (funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), the hydrogen refueller, the Solar PV electrolyser and hydrogen propulsion test bed, as well as the pioneering work of Cranfield Aerospace in developing the 9-seat hydrogen aircraft.

“It was an event which clearly showed the world-leading role Cranfield is playing to accelerate hydrogen technologies.”

Cranfield offers a range of MSc courses in Energy and Sustainability.