Brussels Airport launches hydrogen fuel pilot with mobile refuelling station and tractor

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Brussels Airport, in collaboration with Stargate EU Green Deal partners VIL and DHL, is piloting a hydrogen refuelling station and a hydrogen-powered Mulag towing tractor for ground handling operations. This initiative, a first for the airport, aims to explore hydrogen as a sustainable alternative to conventional fuels and electric equipment, significantly reducing emissions and noise.

Earlier this month, VIL and WaterstofNet set up a mobile hydrogen refuelling station on the tarmac, as part of the broader Stargate project involving 21 partners dedicated to developing sustainable airport solutions. DHL is testing the hydrogen prototype, which features a hydrogen fuel cell system for cargo transport and loading.

The project includes comprehensive training for all personnel involved, ensuring safe and efficient operations. Running until June 27th, the pilot seeks to evaluate hydrogen’s viability for ground handling, offering insights into necessary procedures, safety requirements, and operational benefits, which will be shared with other airports participating in the Stargate project.

Hydrogen-powered vehicles, like their electric counterparts, produce no CO2 emissions and operate quietly, benefiting both local communities and airport workers. Additionally, hydrogen vehicles can be refuelled instantly, offering operational advantages over electric vehicles. This pilot marks a significant step towards the broader adoption of hydrogen technology in aviation, contributing to a more sustainable future.

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