Air bp To Supply Rolls-Royce with SAF

 - March 21, 2022, 11:18 AM
Tests of Rolls-Royce engines such as the Trent will be run on an SAF blend provided by Air bp starting this summer at the powerplant maker's test centers in the UK and Germany. (Photo: Rolls Royce)

Air bp has signed an agreement with Rolls-Royce that will see it furnish the UK-based engine maker with sustainable aviation fuel to power its engine testing programs. First deliveries of a 10 percent SAF blend will commence in the second quarter to the three Rolls-Royce testing areas in Derby (civil aviation), Bristol (defense), and Dahlewitz, Germany (business aviation).

In addition to product improvement testing, completed production engines are tested extensively by the manufacturer before customer delivery, and the two companies expect the SAF portion alone of the delivered fuel will total nearly 780,000 gallons a year.

“This agreement delivers on a commitment we made that the fuel for testing and development is a 10 percent sustainable aviation fuel blend by 2023,” said Rolls-Royce president for civil aerospace Chris Cholerton. ‘We want to encourage the use of SAF throughout the aviation industry and this agreement is an example of the firm commitments fuel producers require to support their continued production investment.”

Additionally to its use in production engines, Air bp will also provide the 100 percent SAF fuel for the first run of Rolls’s UltraFan demonstrator engine, which will take place later this year. The UltraFan will be the largest aviation engine in the world and promises new levels of fuel burn efficiency.

“I will be excited to see the UltraFan on our state-of-the-art testbed running for the first time on 100-percent SAF, creating a new chapter in engineering excellence and sustainable aviation history," said Cholerton.

The manufacturer has committed to ensuring that its commercial Trent engines and business jet powerplants are compatible with 100 percent SAF by 2023. The Trent and all of Rolls's current business aviation engines are certified to run on a blend of up to 50 percent SAF.

Air bp’s SAF is derived from sources such as used cooking oil, and like SAF derived from other feedstocks, can provide significant lifecycle carbon emission reductions over conventional jet fuel.

“As bp transitions to an integrated energy company, we are leveraging our expertise in the sourcing of renewable feedstocks, SAF production logistics, and end customer supply,” explained sustainability director Andreea Moyes. “Our ambition is to be the decarbonization partner in the aviation industry and we are working at pace to promote SAF availability, accessibility, and affordability to support global aviation in realizing its low carbon ambitions.”