Raytheon Technologies has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy for two research and development projects to test the use of hydrogen and ammonia as effective, zero-carbon options for electricity generation.
"These projects are the latest examples of how we're partnering with the Department of Energy to innovate the technologies that will power a cleaner, more sustainable future," said Andreas Roelofs, director of the Raytheon Technology Research Center, the company's central advanced research and development innovation hub in East Hartford, Connecticut.
Under the first project, Raytheon Technologies will validate the capacity to operate Mitsubishi Power Aero's FT4000® gas turbine unit using hydrogen and hydrogen blends as fuel sources. The FT4000® is a land-based variant of Pratt & Whitney's PW4000™ turbofan aircraft engine.
"Hydrogen has an important role to play in enabling the aviation industry's pathway to net zero emissions, and we are focused on developing technologies to maximize the potential opportunities that this zero-carbon fuel source provides," said Geoff Hunt, senior vice president for Engineering and Technology at Pratt & Whitney.
The hydrogen fuel test will complement other work occurring in another development project called the Hydrogen Steam Injected, Inter-Cooled Turbine Engine (HySIITE) project. HySIITE, also supported by the Energy Department, is a Pratt & Whitney-led effort to develop hydrogen-fueled propulsion technology applicable to single-aisle commercial aircraft.
Raytheon Technologies will work with the University of Connecticut School of Engineering on the second Energy Department project to focus on the use of ammonia – which is composed of mostly hydrogen – as a zero-carbon fuel for power-generating turbines. Using ammonia presents several advantages including a pre-existing production and transportation infrastructure that requires much less refrigeration in comparison to hydrogen, and the ability to easily store it as a liquid.