UltraFan engine for Rolls-Royce

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As part of its ecological footprint reduction program, the UK engine manufacturer is using a fully sustainable fuel for the first time in ground testing of its new generation resource, which is still under development.

The tests, which are about to begin at the center in Derby, England, aim to demonstrate that fuel from a fully sustainable source can make a significant contribution to reducing the environmental impact of gas turbine engines. At present, up to half of these fuels can be used in conventional Rolls-Royce engines. Therefore, I would also like to prove that even if this type of fuel is used, the resources are working properly, thus helping to obtain official permits. Kerosene is produced by California-based World Energy, which specializes in low-carbon fuels, from feedstock provided by Shell Aviation. It will be delivered to the scene by SkyNRG. The resulting fuel can reduce carbon emissions by more than 75 percent over its entire life cycle compared to conventional kerosene, and may even improve in the future.

Paul Stein, chief technology officer at Rolls Royce, says the aviation sector will need 500 million tonnes of sustainable fuel by 2050, so if they can increase production, they can make a significant contribution to environmental protection. The Trent engine used for the tests is also involved in the company’s ALECSys program, which aims to develop low-emission combustion chambers using lean-burn technology. With this, the UltraFan engine will achieve up to 25 percent fuel savings compared to first-generation Trent engines.

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