Rolls-Royce to test 100% sustainable aviation fuel

The tests aim to confirm unblended sustainable aviation fuel makes a significant contribution to improving the environmental performance of gas turbine engines

Rolls-Royce has announced plans to test 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) on next-generation engine technology as part of its ongoing decarbonisation strategy.

The tests aim to confirm unblended SAF makes a significant contribution to improving the environmental performance of gas turbine engines.

The unblended fuel is said to have the potential to significantly reduce net CO2 lifecycle emissions by more than 75% compared to conventional jet fuel, with the possibility of further reductions in years to come.

The ground tests will involve a Trent engine which also incorporates Advanced Low Emissions Combustion System (ALECSys) lean-burn technology – part of the UltraFan engine demonstrator programme, which offers a 25% fuel saving over the first generation of Trent engines.

Paul Stein, Rolls-Royce Chief Technology Officer said: “Aviation is a tremendous force for good, keeping the world connected but we have to do that sustainably.

“These tests aim to show that we can deliver real emissions reductions. If SAF production can be scaled up – and aviation needs 500 million tonnes a year by 2050 – we can make a huge contribution for our planet.”

The SAF being tested was produced by low carbon fuel specialist World Energy in California, sourced by Shell Aviation and delivered by SkyNRG.

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