GE Aviation tests engine using 100 per cent sustainable aviation fuel
By David Wood | 25th May 2022
GE Aviation has completed successful testing of its Passport long-range business aviation engine using 100 per cent sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
The Passport engine can operate on approved SAF today, and the recent testing shows the capability of the engine to run on 100 per cent SAF, a lower carbon alternative jet fuel.It was the first time the Passport engine was tested with 100 per cent SAF.
Currently, SAF approved for use is a blend of petroleum-based Jet A or Jet A-1 fuel and a SAF component with a maximum blend limit of 50 per cent.
ASTM International, an organisation that develops technical standards, has not yet qualified 100 per cent SAF. One of GE's fuel experts chairs an international task force to develop standardised industry specifications supporting adoption of 100% drop-in SAF, which does not require blending with conventional jet fuel.
Melvyn Heard, president of the Passport engine programme for GE Aviation, which has a major UK base at Bishops Cleeve, said: "As our testing shows, the Passport engine, like all GE engines, can operate on approved Sustainable Aviation Fuel today and in the future.
"Our customers can be confident that the Passport engine can help meet their sustainability goals to reduce CO2 emissions in flight, thanks to the Passport's more fuel-efficient technologies compared to previous-generation business jet engines and ability to operate on lower-carbon fuels."
Ground testing was conducted with one engine over several days in March at GE Aviation's Peebles Test Operations in southern Ohio. The purpose of the test was to assess the performance and operability of the engine technology with 100 per cent SAF compared to conventional Jet A.
The type of SAF used in the testing, HEFA-SPK, is the most widely available SAF today and can be made from cooking oil and other waste fats, oils and greases.
Preliminary test results of the Passport engine are favorable, with the engine performing similarly to when it runs on petroleum-based jet fuel.
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