An interdisciplinary consortium, including Airbus, SAF producer Neste and researchers from the University of Manchester, has recently undertaken a world-first study in which 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) was used in both engines of a commercial jet.
The ECLIF3 (Emission and Climate Impact of Alternative Fuels) initial promising results appear to suggest that SAF releases fewer particulates at all engine operating conditions. Also, since SAF has a higher energy density than conventional jet fuel, this can lead to further efficiency improvements as less mass of fuel can be used for the same flight.
In-flight emissions tests and associated ground testing on the ECLIF3 programme began earlier this year and have recently resumed. The consortium plans to publish its results in academic journals towards the end of 2022.
If the initial results are confirmed, these may lead the maximum blend percentage prescribed in the ASTM D7566 to be increased, contributing to reducing the aviation industry’s carbon footprint and replacing the utilisation of fossil jet fuel products.
More on the ECLIF3 study here.