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Airbus Sets Target of 50% Cut in CO2 Emissions from New Aircraft By 2020

15 June 2007

Airbus President and Chief Executive Officer Louis Gallois is targeting that by 2020, all new Airbus aircraft entering the market would produce 50% less CO2 and 80% less NOx than levels in 2000. Airbus will also revisit fuel cell and hydrogen technology to power ground operations at airports.

To support this, Airbus will increase its Research and Technology budget by 25%, starting in 2008.

Airbus will also target an 30% reduction in company energy consumption. The company said it will be announcing specific proposals within the next couple of months.

Gallois called for the aviation sector, suppliers and governments to work toward an “eco-efficient” aviation industry.

June 15, 2007 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)

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50%... I'm very impressed if this doesn't mean switching to some bio-jetfuel. I'm totally surprised there is that much inefficiency left to wring out of jet engines.

"I'm very impressed if this doesn't mean switching to some bio-jetfuel. I'm totally surprised there is that much inefficiency left to wring out of jet engines."

Well, the presser doesn't say what 'produce' means, and pressers are hardly spin-free. And since fuel is such a huge part of airline operating costs, I seriously doubt there is any low-hanging fruit to get out of turbofan engines. GE, PW, and RR all compete very strongly for engine orders, and if one of them had revolutionary technology they would deploy it.

Note: they backdated it to 2000 (not 2007)
I can't see how they can do it - they were targeting a 15% improvement in economy for the next 320 generation in about 2015, so that leaves them 5 years for a 35% improvement - unlikely.
The biofuel bit would be a cod - biofuels will be in short supply unless there is a breakthrough and you might as well use them in ground vehicles (unless you get something with better energy density than Jet-a).

Divide by number of passengers? AirBus has started making bigger planes, and gaining efficiency per passenger mile by not requiring twice the fuel to transport twice the passengers.

If they can continue this trend -- build massive planes and sell 'em -- they might be able to meet part of their target in this manner.

Scale up the Piaggio Avanti and they may get close.

Jet engines are external combustion engines that can be regulated to very thoroughly burn the fuel available, and they do. Increasing by pass ratios for turbo fans have made them more efficient but that alone will not suffice. Its on the ground, turnaround, and landing and taking off that there is the most to be gained, but Airbus can gain airline efficiency by relatively mundane engineering tasks to accomplish a lot there.

If you can supply ground power to the HVAC for much longer periods up to an including tows to the flight line, the engines do not have to light off until but a few minutes before takeoff, reducing CO2 and other pollutant emissionns. Speeding turnaround with improvements in the ease of the logistics of loading passengers baggage and supplies make the plane more productive over the coarse of an Airline's day.

Airbus plane design can help there; making aisles wider, providing multiple ingress/egress ports and automating luggage and supplies loading are obvious design considerations that don't require wringing aero engine improvements to make a substantial efficiency improvement.

SouthWest Airlines has made a fortune by merely turning it planes around on the ground in the minimum time. They have demonstrated that doing this to the largest extent possible without benefit of planes designed with that in mind, can alter the bottom line.

The plane manufacturers may be taking notice. Counter-intuitively, "wasting" space by making wider aisles to assist ingress/egress and providing larger amounts of space for carry-on luggage improves turnaround time as precious minutes are not spent trying to find the last avialable place for luggage is money saved.

Finally, it PURE SOPHISTRY to say bio fuels don't emit any more CO2 than other fuel that liberates the same amount of chemical energy, simply because its somehow "natural" from newer plant sources as opposed to older longer dead plant sources. Its sophistry that only phony PR environmentalists make,or allied PR flacks to obtain subsidies for their pet fuel projects.

Easyjet (European low cost carrier) were in the newspapers in the UK the other day with an interesting mock up of a new type of aircraft.

It featured external fans for the turbofan engines (a design first seen in the 70's during the last fuel crisis) and swept forward wings.

These engines are more efficient and are well suited to slightly slower speed aircraft.

The only downside is higher noise levels. This is a problem seeing as the EAA is trying to reduce aircraft noise limits as an ongoing issue.

The mock up was quite space age, it would be interesting to see if Airbus was to go down this route.

Andy

Stan,

At least on this board and other sites discussing bio-fuels, I don't believe anybody is trying to deceive. Most people just assume that when CO2 emissions are discussed, it should be taken as CO2 from "fossil" fuels, releasing CO2 that has been out of the atmosphere for millions of years.

We know you don't believe in anthropogenic CO2 as a causal factor in global warming, but it hardly is sophistry when terms are being used in a commonly understand manner.

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