UK industrial technology group (and renowned aeroengine manufacturer) Rolls-Royce and Anglo-Dutch global major energy group Shell have signed an agreement to increase the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and so progress the decarbonisation of the aviation industry. The conclusion of the agreement, which is a memorandum of understanding (MoU), was announced on Wednesday.
The two companies have already been cooperating in several areas, including facilitating the adoption of SAF. Already, Rolls-Royce is offering its SAFinity service, for which Shell exclusively supplies the SAF. And the two groups are jointly working to demonstrate the use of 100% SAF as a full ‘drop-in’ fuel solution for aircraft.
The new MoU will accelerate and expand these cooperative efforts. One objective is to support and facilitate the certification of 100% SAF by civil aviation regulatory authorities, using Rolls-Royce’s continuing 100% SAF test programme.
Both groups seek to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Under the MoU, they will both provide expertise and technologies in order to reduce operational emissions. Shell will examine the use of SAF to help Rolls-Royce cut air travel emissions, while Rolls-Royce will use its technical knowledge to provide advice to Shell regarding the development of new fuels, and on the development of innovative alternatives for low carbon energy sources for new aircraft and power systems.
“Supporting the decarbonisation of aviation while continuing to enable progress in flight are goals that Rolls-Royce and Shell both share,” highlighted Rolls-Royce chief technology officer Paul Stein. “We believe that working together on these aims can deliver benefits for both the development of new innovations as well as collaborating to find ways to unlock the net carbon emissions reduction potential of technology that is already in use today. SAFs will not only power large aircraft and business aviation, but also hybrid electric Urban Air Mobility (‘flying taxis’) and the forthcoming generation of hybrid fixed wing city hoppers, which is why we place such importance on the ramp up of SAF adoption across the industry.”
“The heritage of collaboration between Rolls-Royce and Shell is a strong foundation for the future, particularly when it comes to our shared ambitions for achieving net zero emissions,” emphasised Shell Aviation president Anna Mascolo. “Being from different parts of the aviation value chain means Rolls-Royce and Shell bring complementary expertise, experiences and ideas to the table. Wide-ranging cooperation can drive new solutions that will help the aviation industry and our customers navigate a pathway to net zero.”