Rolls-Royce sets out plans to decarbonise aviation engines

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British engineering firm Rolls-Royce has laid out how it will achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, including modifying its jet engines to run on renewable fuels.

The company will begin introducing jet engines that can run on sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in 2023, although it only expects the new fuels to make up 10 per cent of total consumption by 2030.

“We are announcing plans to make all our new products compatible with net-zero by 2030, and all our products in operation compatible by 2050,” said Rolls-Royce, which is the world’s third-biggest supplier of jet engines.

It also produces power systems for the shipping industry and the energy sector.

SAF to play “a key role” in decarbonisation

SAF is made from non-fossil sources, meaning its emissions do not add additional CO2 to the atmosphere. Feedstocks include food and forestry waste as well as purpose-grown energy crops such as willow and algae.

Despite being up to five times more expensive than fossil-derived jet fuel today, biofuels will play “a key role to play in the decarbonisation of some of our markets, especially long-haul aviation,” the engineering firm said.

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