Rolls-Royce are to test all its civil aircraft engines currently in production to ensure their compatibility with 100%-sustainable aviation fuel by 2023.
In the continued drive for net-zero carbon, the manufacturer has also stated that new engines will be SAF compatible by 2030, with all products on the line compatible by 2050. We note that this falls in line with broad net-zero commitments agreed at the recent G7 summit, where 2050 was a highlighted as a key target date.
Rolls Royce intends to hasten the project using three initiatives.
Enhancing its existing engine portfolio using new green technologies
Improving the economic viability of Sustainable Aviation Fuels
Introducing low or zero emission products, specifically electric and hybrid systems, microgrids and fuel cells.
Using data sourced from IBA's InsightIQ Carbon Emissions Calculator, we analysed the carbon footprint of the Rolls Royce Trent 7000. We found that the engine has produced 3.15 billion kilograms of CO2 since November 2018 (coinciding with commencement of deliveries of the A330-800 and A330-900) It is likely that Rolls Royce's new commitments will not only improve overall efficiency, but may also have a positive consequence for market share over the coming decades.
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The aircraft engine market is showing early signs of recovery from the worst effects of the Covid-19, but is not set to return to pre-pandemic levels until the mid-2020s, according to leading aviation data and advisory company IBA.