Greener space thanks to a Belgian start-up
Currently, the Ariane rockets in French Guiana are still powered by grey hydrogen, which pollutes. Be.Blue, the young start-up from the University of Liège, is joining forces with other partners in an ambitious large-scale project to launch green hydrogen into space.
The project has been given the melodious name of Hyguane, a contraction of hydrogen and French Guiana, where the European Spaceport launch base is located. A pilot plant is planned to produce green hydrogen and therefore reduce thousands of tons of harmful greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon dioxide per year. In addition to the obvious ecological benefit, this will also have a financial advantage, since it avoids prohibitive European tax. Once approved, the project may be extended to the entire French overseas territory for the transport of people and goods.
Be.Blue will play a central role within the European Space Agency (ESA) and its six scientific, industrial and academic partners. It will test the cells in which hydrogen is stored and see how they can function in the Spaceport. The expertise acquired in space will then be used by Be.Blue on the ground in Europe, notably in cars and lorries. Lastly, to promote green technologies, the University of Liège plans to organise the necessary training and research in collaboration with the University of Guyana.
Ths is a wonderful example of transatlantic cooperation.