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November 15, 2021

Solving Global Warming Through Liquid Hydrogen Aircrafts

Due to the advancement of technology, we are now at an all-time high in terms of atmospheric carbon dioxide. And aviation alone is responsible for almost 3% of anthropogenic warming. As a student who is passionate about making an impact and sustainability, Liam Megill, Co-Founder of AeroDelft, is now solving global warming through liquid hydrogen aircrafts.

Due to the advancement of technology, we are now at an all time high in terms of atmospheric carbon dioxide. And aviation alone is responsible for almost 3% of anthropogenic warming. As a student who is passionate about making an impact and sustainability, Liam Megill, Co-Founder of AeroDelft, is now solving global warming through liquid hydrogen aircrafts. 

"We shouldn't bet on one horse, we should have multiple solutions to one problem" - Liam Megill

Liquid hydrogen technology is actually not new. It is currently being used in rocketology where they use liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen as their fuel. However, Liam is using it a bit differently, as they are not combusting hydrogen but rather using hydrogen in a fuel cell. This opens up a lot of complexities for their project with not much research to help them. 

Even though a lot of the industry is gearing towards batteries, Liam believes that batteries will not be as effective in aviation. With the current technology, batteries will not be able to carry a lot of people, unlike liquid hydrogen. 

Many big companies are actually working on this, and Liam is very happy about that. Although they are one of the first ones to study this, which is why they are substantially far ahead compared to everyone else, they are very willing to share their knowledge and development to people who are more capable of implementing this. They are, after all, a non-profit team. 

“Being a non-profit allows us to make decisions and go in a direction that we feel is the most effective at any given time.” - Liam Megill

According to Liam, they didn’t want to do this commercially because of a lot of reasons. The first one, and probably the biggest reason of all, is because they still want to continue their studies. They understand that if you’re doing a start-up, they will most likely have to leave their studies and go full-time. 

Also, being non-profit allows them to be more agile and pivot into a new direction anytime they see fit. Using liquid hydrogen wasn’t actually their first choice, but through research and freedom, they were able to switch the project to a new direction.

However, it is not without downsides. Their biggest hurdle in their mission is getting funding. They are not a startup so getting money from investors is difficult. They will not be able to return the money because they are a non-profit team, so very few investors are willing to help them.


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