Brussels Airport tests hydrogen tractor and refueling station

VIL, the point of contact for the Flemish logistics sector, and WaterStofNet have installed the first mobile hydrogen refueling station at Brussels Airport. At the same time, DHL is testing the first hydrogen prototype for ground handling operations, a Mulag tractor with an integrated hydrogen fuel cell system.

This is a first for the airport. Brussels Airport claims that the use of hydrogen significantly reduces the emissions and noise impact of ground operations.

Project of Stargate EU Green Deal

The pilot project, part of the Stargate EU Green Deal project, aims to assess hydrogen’s potential as an alternative fuel for ground handling equipment and understand the procedures needed to use this fuel at Brussels Airport. The test will last six weeks and ends on 27 June.

Hydrogen vehicles have no CO2 emissions or noise impact, which benefits residents and airport staff alike. One of the advantages of hydrogen is that vehicles can refuel instantaneously, which can be interesting for specific activities and makes them less dependent on the electricity grid.

Consortium of 22 partners

Stargate, a consortium of 22 European partners, received a 24.8 million euro grant from the European Green Deal to research and demonstrate solutions before the end of 2026. In addition to the grant from the Commission, partners contribute about 30% as co-funding.

The consortium includes airports, airlines, mobility and knowledge institutes, and local authorities.

The ground support equipment (GSE) that DHL is currently testing was previously demonstrated at Toulouse Airport. At Schiphol Airport, a hydrogen ground power unit is also being developed and demonstrated for GSE under the ‘Tullips’ project.


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