Tech Insights

Innovations Driving Sustainability: Hydrogen Fuel Cells

March 31, 2023 by Mohsin Naveed

Could hydrogen fuel cells be the sustainable savior industries battling climate change have been looking for?

Hydrogen fuel cells are a sustainable savior for industries battling climate change. Polaris Market Research predicts the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle market to hit $62.88 billion by 2032. Recent advancements include a hydrogen-powered test flight and Honda's creative use of aging fuel cells in data centers.


Versatility of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology

The demand for eco-friendly transport options has risen exponentially in recent years. Hydrogen fuel cell technology has been one of the best options for driving sustainability across industries. In aviation, there is hope for revolutionary change in conventional air travel methods, as proven by the fifteen-minute test flight of a Dash 8 commuter plane running on hydrogen fuel cell energy.

Honda has become a pioneer in repurposing aging hydrogen fuel cells in data centers, which has become a growing trend. This step provides reliable and sustainable backup power and highlights the versatility of hydrogen fuel cell technology. The possibility of its application in a wide range of fields beyond transportation is open to the world.

With the world's focus fast turning on renewable energy resources in the face of climate crises, hydrogen fuel cell continues to become a leading sustainable practice, thus enabling hope for a cleaner and safer future. 


From bio-energy to solar and wind power, the path to renewable energy leads to hydrogen fuel cell technology. Image used courtesy of MDPI


Hydrogen Fuel Cell Aircraft Challenges

The Dash 8 commuter plane test drive using a hydrogen fuel cell engine demonstrated the viability of using hydrogen fuel cells to power aircraft. The advantages of this technology far outweigh the supposed cons, but there are still several pressing challenges to consider. The limited storage capacity of hydrogen is one of the major disadvantages. But with that said, the aviation industry has considered that challenge and has taken surprising steps toward developing this tech for proper commercial use.



Universal Hydrogen plane on the runway, showcasing the potential of hydrogen fuel cell technology for eco-friendly aviation. Image used courtesy of Universal Hydrogen


Honda's Innovative Breakthrough

Recycling energy is at the core of sustainable energy efforts. Hence, with Honda's breakthrough in finding a way to recycle aging hydrogen fuel cells in data centers, the world is ready to use reliable and sustainable backup power. Such contribution to the circular economy greatly extends the lifespan of the company's products and increases the scope of such fuel cells beyond transport applications only, such as energy storage. Experts predict a sharp rise in the demand for renewable backup power as companies and governments continue to invest in sustainable energy solutions.


Honda's data center is powered by recycled hydrogen fuel cells, providing reliable and sustainable backup power for the facility in case of a power outage. Image used courtesy of Honda


From Test Flights to Renewable Backup

Hydrogen fuel cell technology has, thus far, proven to be the number one solution for a sustainable future in that it offers hope for a much cleaner future. Hence, the automotive and aviation industries are quick to explore the potential of this tech.

Successful test flights have exceptionally demonstrated the viability of using hydrogen fuel cells to power aircraft in the aviation industry. In contrast, the automotive industry has devised a method of recycling old fuel cells to the point where this tech can be considered a renewable power backup.

All in all, the hope of further development and large-scale adoption of this tech lies in the hands of up-and-coming engineering students, who can help ensure a safe, sustainable future.