Rolls-Royce to test 100% sustainable fuel

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As part of your ongoing decarbonization strategy, Rolls-Royce will use 100% sustainable aviation fuel for the first time in ground engine tests, with next-generation engine technology. The tests will aim to confirm that unblended SAF makes a significant contribution to improving the environmental performance of gas turbine engines.

The SAF being used in the tests was produced by low carbon fuel specialist World Energy in Paramount, California, purchased by Shell Aviation and delivered by SkyNRG. This unblended fuel has the potential to significantly reduce net life cycle CO2 emissions, by more than 75 percent compared to conventional jet fuel, with the possibility of further reductions in the coming years.

These tests are intended to demonstrate that current engines can operate on 100% SAF as a complete “drop-in” option, laying the groundwork for moving such fuels toward certification. Today SAF is certified for blends of up to 50% with conventional jet fuel and can be used in all current Rolls-Royce engines.

Starting in the next few weeks in Derby, UK, ground testing will include a Trent engine that also incorporates ALECSys (Advanced Low Emissions Combustion System) lean combustion technology.

ALECSys is part of the UltraFan Next Generation Engine Demonstration Program, offering 25% fuel savings compared to first generation Trent engines.

Rolls-Royce Chief Technology Officer Paul Stein said:

Aviation is a tremendous force for good that keeps the world connected, but we have to do it sustainably. These tests are intended to show that we can achieve real emission reductions. If SAF production can be increased, and aviation needs 500 million tons per year by 2050, we can make a huge contribution to our planet

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