Decarbonizing aviation: A more powerful and fuel-efficient engine
Making aviation carbon neutral by 2050 is an achievable goal! To get there, we have to take action on all fronts involving air transport. There are two key objectives: to reduce the amount of fuel burned in order to reduce CO2 emissions, and to increase the use of sustainable fuels. To achieve this, Safran is working on one key element: the jet engine.
Episode 1 - Decarbonizing aviation: A more powerful and fuel-efficient engine
A MORE POWERFUL AND FUEL-EFFICIENT ENGINE
Reducing the amount of fuel burned is the first way to reduce CO2 emissions. The aircraft of the future should therefore be hyper energy-efficient, reducing engine consumption by 30% compared to the current Airbus A320.
Several things can be done to reduce the amount of fuel consumed (weight reduction, aerodynamics, etc.), but the main focus is on the engine, which must be more fuel-efficient.
Safran has already contributed to the development of cleaner, more innovative and competitive engines, such as the LEAP engine, which powers the latest generation of short- and medium-haul aircraft (A320neo and 737 MAX) and consumes 15% less fuel than its predecessor, the CFM56. In June 2021, GE Aviation and Safran launched a bold technology development program targeting more than 20 percent lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions compared to today's engines. The CFM RISE (Revolutionary Innovation for Sustainable Engines) program will demonstrate and mature a range of new, disruptive technologies for future engines that could enter service by the mid-2030s
Another essential feature of this engine of the future is that it will have to be able to run on sustainable alternative fuels (biofuels, synthetic fuels), whether mixed with kerosene or used pure – or even with liquid hydrogen. This last option would lead to even more changes, both for the engine and for the aircraft.
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