by Robert Brooks

Originally published in American Machinist on November 19th, 2015

Rolls-Royce agreed to participate with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration in the second phase of its Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions, and Noise (CLEEN II) research program, which links aerospace manufacturers and suppliers with the FAA in “efforts to make aviation more environmentally friendly.”

dec72015_photoRolls-Royce will conduct rig and engine testing to evaluate product designs for the most promising NOx-reducing technologies, as well as meet FAA goals for emissions reduction and improved engine fuel burn. A separate research track will evaluate alternative jet engine fuels.

The CLEEN II program aims to reduce commercial aircraft fuel-burn rates by 40%, to cut NOx emissions during takeoff and landing by 70%, to lower noise levels by 32 dBs, and to expedite commercialization of “drop-in” sustainable jet fuels. According to FAA, the CLEEN II aircraft technologies will be ready for commercial introduction by 2026.

CLEEN II follows the original CLEEN public-private partnership that started in 2010, and conducted nine projects covering energy-efficient aircraft technologies and sustainable alternative jet fuels.

Other companies involved in CLEEN II include Pratt & Whitney and UTC Aerospace Systems’ Aerostructures business, Aurora Flight Sciences, The Boeing Co., GE Aviation, and Delta TechOps/MDS Coating Technologies/America’s Phenix Honeywell Aerospace.

Rolls-Royce received $11 million for two research programs that will concentrate on low-NOx (low nitrogen oxide) combustion systems and alternative jet fuel testing and evaluation.

“Our vision is to create better power for a changing world. We are dedicated to improving environmental performance, and lower emissions and fuel consumption.  This second phase of CLEEN research will help us deliver more efficient products for our customers,” stated Brad Belcher, Rolls-Royce program director for U.S. Civil Research and Technology.  “The results of this advanced research will provide significant benefits across a broad range of products.”

In the program, Rolls-Royce will direct development of an advanced combustion system to improve NOx performance and simultaneously reduce fuel-burn rates in future engines.  Rolls indicated it would evaluate alternative product designs to identify the most promising technologies to reduce NOx emissions.

Those technologies will be evaluated and advanced through a comprehensive program of rig and engine testing.

Also,Rolls-Royce will evaluate alternative fuels through a series of rig and engine tests using accepted ASTM International procedures. The alternative fuel for this program will be selected in cooperation with the FAA.