Rolls-Royce will use 100% sustainable aviation fuel for the first time in ground tests for next-generation engine technology, as part of its ongoing net zero carbon strategy.
Ground testing of Rolls-Royce engines with 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) can reveal the potential of SAF to reduce emissions. Rolls-Royce will use 100% sustainable aviation fuel for the first time in ground tests for next-generation engine technology, as part of its ongoing net zero carbon strategy.
The purpose of these tests is to verify that pure SAF makes an important contribution towards improving the environmental performance of gas turbine engines.
The SAF used in the tests is produced by World Energy in Paramount, California, which specializes in low carbon fuel. SAF is also supplied by the Shell Aviation company. This impure fuel, supplied by SkyNRG, has the potential to reduce net CO2 life cycle emissions by more than 75% compared to conventional jet fuel. Thanks to this neat fuel, CO2 life cycle emissions can be further reduced in the coming years.
These tests aim to demonstrate that our existing engines can operate with 100% SAF within the scope of the "drop-in" option and to prepare an infrastructure for the certification of the related fuels. Currently, SAF is certified for up to 50% blends with conventional jet fuel, positioned for use in all existing Rolls-Royce engines.
Ground tests to begin in Derby, UK in the coming weeks, will include a Trent engine including ALECSys (Advanced Low Emissions Combustion System) lean combustion technology.
ALECSys is part of the UltraFan® new generation engine demonstration program that provides 25% fuel savings compared to first generation Trent engines.
Paul Stein, Chief Technology Officer of Rolls-Royce, said: “Aviation is a huge force that keeps the world connected. We can only sustain this power in a sustainable way. The aim of our tests is to show that we can achieve real emission reduction. With SAF production, which aviation should increase to 2050 million tons per year by 500, we can make a significant contribution to our planet.
World Energy Chief Executive Officer and Founder Gene Gebolys said: “World Energy provides the world's most advanced low-carbon fuels. In this way, industry pioneers bring some innovations to the industry. Rolls-Royce puts its technology expertise to find ways to maximize the potential of its engines, and we are proud to support them. ”
SkyNRG General Manager Theye Veen said: “This program is a good example of what can be achieved if companies in the aviation value chain that meet the goal of reducing emissions work together. SkyNRG, a pioneer in SAF, is proud to support innovative tests like this one run by Rolls-Royce, ”he said.
Shell Aviation, which supplies SAF to Rolls-Royce in addition to SkyNRG, also supplies AeroShell lubricants for the ALECSys engine test program.
“For over 100 years Rolls-Royce and Shell have been working together to drive the development of aviation,” said Anna Mascolo, Head of Shell Aviation. This collaboration brings us one step closer to aviation's net zero carbon strategy. In addition to SAF, Shell aviation will ensure carbon balance by using nature-based solutions to achieve net zero emissions in testing. Shell Aviation will also demonstrate the fact that multiple measures are required to achieve net zero carbon emissions in aviation. "
The ALECSys program is supported by the European Union through Clean Sky and in the UK by the Aerospace Technology Institute and Innovate UK (Aerospace Technology Institute and Innovation UK). The 100% SAF test program is also supported by ATI, iUK and Gulf Aviation.