Rolls-Royce has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Alder Fuels, a process technology and project development company in the low-carbon transportation fuels industry (earlier post), to test Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) produced based on Alder Fuels’ proprietary greencrude technology (AGC).
The testing, which will include flight tests on a Rolls-Royce Pearl engine, will evaluate the energy efficiency, emissions criteria, and low-carbon credentials of the SAF produced from Alder Greencrude (AGC).
The use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel as a low-emission solution and its global commercial deployment are essential to the decarbonization of medium- to long-haul air travel. 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.—Frank Moesta, SVP Strategy & Future Programs – Business Aviation, Rolls-Royce
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, which has been developed in close partnership with the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), can achieve greenhouse gas reductions of more than 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 decarbonisation efforts.
Rolls-Royce has previously committed to ensuring all its Trent and Business Aviation engines are compatible with 100% SAF by 2023. All Trent and Business Aviation engines are already certified and ready to operate on a 50% SAF blend with traditional fossil-based aviation jet fuel.