Rolls-Royce continues on its drive to further the decarbonization of aviation. The company has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Alder Fuels, a clean tech developer, to further test Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) as it makes the critical next step on its journey to commercial scalability.
The SAF, which has been produced based on Alder Fuel’s proprietary greencrude technology, is being readied for global rollout as a drop-in replacement to petroleum-based jet fuel and will be a critical tool for decarbonizing the skies.
The testing will include flight tests on a Rolls-Royce Pearl engine. It will evaluate the energy efficiency, emissions criteria, and low-carbon credentials of the SAF produced from Alder Greencrude (AGC) and is another testament to Rolls-Royce’s ambition to play a fundamental role in enabling the sectors in which it operates to achieve net zero carbon by 2050.
Alder Fuels uses sustainable biomass such as regenerative grasses, forest residues, and agricultural waste products to create low-carbon Alder Greencrude (AGC) that can be converted into a drop-in SAF using existing bio and petroleum refinery infrastructure. The process can achieve greenhouse gas reductions of over 80% compared to fossil-based jet fuel.
The engine tests will assess the performance of AGC-derived SAF compared to fossil-based jet fuel to further support its performance as a drop-in replacement for traditional jet fuel and generate critical data for the development of a 100% SAF specification by ASTM International. In addition, the SAF will undergo a full lifecycle and criteria emissions assessment, and the data associated with this assessment will be transparently reported to advance global decarbonization efforts.
“The use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel as a low-emission solution and its global commercial deployment is essential to the decarbonization of medium to long-haul air travel,” said Frank Moesta, SVP of Strategy & Future Programmes – Business Aviation, Rolls-Royce. “While we are also working on electrification, hybrid-electric, and hydrogen technologies as long-term alternatives, rapid decarbonization is within reach through this critical pathway. Through our partnership with Alder Fuels, we are taking the next steps on our journey to net zero and are committed supporters of the UN Race to Zero goal of 10% SAF use across aviation by 2030.”
All Rolls-Royce Trent and Business Aviation engines are already certified and ready to operate on a 50% SAF blend with traditional fossil-based aviation jet fuel. The company has promised to deliver aviation engines compatible with 100% SAF by 2023.