HyNEAT – Hydrogen Supply Networks‘ Evolution for Air Transport

Funding: Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

Duration: 2022 – 2025


Project Description

The project HyNEAT aims to investigate and develop concepts for the global hydrogen supply infrastructure for H2 hydrogen-powered aircraft. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The interdisciplinary research approach brings together scientists from engineering, physics, economics, and mathematics. The close involvement of an industrial advisory council with representatives from aircraft manufacturers, airport operators, as well as energy and hydrogen companies, among others, fosters the development of practical solutions and ensures the utilization of results. The AIP's work focuses on modeling flight networks and the System Dynamics based analysis of hydrogen demand in aviation.




Project Partners

  • Leibniz Universität Hannover
    • Institute of Electrical Energy Systems (coordination)
    • Institute of Solid State Physics
    • Institute for Environmental Economics and World Trade
  • Braunschweig University of Technology
    • Institute for Automotive Economics and Industrial Production
    • Institute for Mathematical Optimization
    • Junior Research Group „Overall System Evaluation”
  • Clausthal University of Technology
    • Institute of Mineral and Waste Processing, Recycling and Circular Economy Systems
  • Hamburg University of Technology
    • Research group Resilient and Sustainable Operations and Supply Chain Management



Larger commercial aircraft powered by H2 are a promising alternative for more climate-friendly aviation. However, using H2 can only contribute to climate protection if it is produced from renewable energy sources (green H2). In addition to the need to develop new propulsion systems and aircraft concepts, one of the greatest challenges is the deployment of a corresponding green and liquid H2 infrastructure that enables competitive costs for the operation of such aircraft.


Objective and Approach

Project goals

In this project, concepts for global H2 supply infrastructures are developed for refueling H2-powered aircraft. The aim is to identify long-term perspectives and possible transition paths in line with a global energy transition and to derive recommendations for politics and industry. The scope of the project focuses on three different levels: the global H2 potentials for aviation, the European energy system with the associated scope as in countries of Africa and the Middle East, and the local implementation at airports.


Sub-objective/approach of the AIP in "Analysis of hydrogen demand in aviation”

With regard to the sub-objective "Analysis of the hydrogen demand of aviation", the aviation system is modeled. This is achieved using System Dynamics models that build on causal-loop and stock-and-flow diagrams. These methods offer the possibility to depict superordinate developments and interrelationships of aviation and to particularly address the market penetration of new aircraft technologies. The System Dynamics method was already used to simulate the automotive market in previous research projects. Within the scope of this project, the AIP can now contribute ample experience with this methodology.

Sub-objective/approach of the AIP in "Network planning in aviation”

In the sub-objective, "Network planning for H2 aviation", the influence of the LH2 supply for varying prices at different airports is investigated from an air traffic network perspective. With the help of mathematical optimization models, market penetration of H2 aircraft is determined, given the results of subject areas one and two. Thus, the effect on airline networks and route planning for H2 aviation are defined.