HY4 to Change the Way We Travel (Sustainably)

  1. Sustainability Issue (Energy, Pollution):

Transportation consumes a lot of fuel and contributes to pollution and environmental harm. While all means of transportation contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, frequently flying can significantly increase your personal carbon footprint. According to CNN, “a flight from London to New York generates roughly as much emissions per person as the average European generates by heating their home for a whole year.”

  1. Summary of Technology (HY4):


  • HY4 is a zero-emission plane that is powered solely by a hydrogen fuel cell system and electric propulsion, with a battery to provide extra power during takeoff
  • The only emission generated by this plane is water
  • The plan is that HY4 could be used in regional transport such as electric air taxis, which would offer a faster alternative than driving, bus, or train.
  • Estimated that city to city travel in such planes could be commonplace in the next 20 years, with extension to large capacity, long haul flights within 50 years


  1. Stakeholders

Key stakeholders include:

  • Air travelers
  • Airlines
  • Aviation regulators
  1. Next Steps
  • Continue to demonstrate proof of concept with long range flights of existing plane
  • Continue development work on larger capacity aircraft
  • Explore extent to which hydrogen fuel cells can be incorporated into existing engine structure as an interim step to reduce emissions from passenger planes
  1. Comment on “How about use waste to build green artificial islands?”


This seems like a very interesting idea, though I would be interested to see a cost comparison between this proposal and the existing disposal methods. I fear the construction costs, particularly the underwater infrastructure to prevent leakage into the New York harbor, would exceed existing disposal costs. I also wonder how the compositing facilities (which can at times give off strong odors) would be integrated into the green space.


UNI – LC3291
Fall 2017 – Week 6




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s