Rolls-Royce continues to explore the path of sustainable fuels to reduce aviation’s environmental footprint and advance towards its goal of zero net CO2 emissions by 2050. The engine manufacturer announced that it had conducted the first 100% aviation fuel tests sustainable) into a business jet engine.
At the facility in Dahlewitz, Germany, tests were carried out on the Pearl 700, Rolls-Royce’s newest commercial aviation engine. They were carried out just a few weeks after unmixed SAF was first used successfully in ground engine tests on a Trent 1000 engine in Derby, UK.
Rolls-Royce wants to demonstrate that its entire range of current engines is capable of operating safely on 100% SAF. SAF is currently only certified for blends of up to 50% with conventional jet fuel and can be used in all current Rolls-Royce engines.
The SAF used in the tests was produced by World Energy, a low-carbon fuel specialist, in Paramount, California, using a variety of sustainable sources, including municipal solid waste; cellulose waste from the forestry industry; used cooking oil; energy crops, including camelina, jatropha, halophytes, and algae; and non-biological fuels such as steel mill waste gases.
According to the Californian company, its use does not require any modification in the fuel systems of the aircraft or engines, the distribution infrastructure and the storage facilities. This unblended fuel could reduce net life cycle CO2 emissions by more than 75% compared to conventional jet fuel, with the potential for further reductions in the future.
“Sustainable aviation fuels have the potential to significantly reduce carbon emissions from our engines, and combining this potential with the extraordinary performance of our Pearl family of engines brings us another important step forward in enabling our customers to achieve carbon emissions. Net zero, “said Dr. Joerg Au, Chief Engineer – Director of Engineering and Commercial Aviation Rolls-Royce Deutschland.
The highly efficient Pearl 700 is currently in development and is intended to power the Gulfstream G700, five prototypes of which are currently in flight test campaign. The Pearl 700 combines the Advance2 engine core with a new low-pressure system, allowing an 8% increase in takeoff thrust and 5% more efficiency compared to the BR725 engine.