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Emirates Airways completes 100% SAF-fueled ground test

Emirates Airways has successfully completed ground engine testing using 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), according to a statement. SAF was used on a Boeing 777 aircraft to demonstrate that the low-carbon fuel does not require special technical support or changes to the aircraft’s engine. SAF is currently permitted to be blended up to 50% with regular jet fuel.

Why is this important? Ground tests and experimental test flights analyze the specific outputs of the aircraft’s engine to test the operational performance and fuel systems during the planned test flight.

The details: Ground testing compared the performance of two engines — one fuelled with SAF and another with conventional fuel — undergoing a series of tests including a simulated take-off and climb at full flight durations running at maximum speed and intensity. The engines were then run at cruise settings for 15 minutes. Data was then reviewed after cooldown to study how the different fuels impacted the engines’ overall performance. The airline is proceeding with its first experimental test flight using 100% SAF this week, the statement notes.

Paving the way for big emissions cuts: SAF — ​​which are made of mustard seeds, soy beans, and non-edible oils — can potentially cut carbon emissions by up to 80% and contribute to the decarbonization of the aviation industry.

And the UAE is on track to produce its own: Masdar, Adnoc, Emirates Airways, and Tadweer will conduct a joint feasibility study with BP on the production of SAFs by using solid waste and renewable hydrogen. The companies could potentially set up the region’s first commercial-scale SAF production facility in Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Energy, Pakistani-Arab Refinery PARCO and Austrian OMV Group are also jointly exploring sustainable aviation fuels.

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