March 4, 2024

Sustainable Fuel: Where we need to innovate

As has so long been the issue, much of the problem boils down to synthetics causing seal shrinkage – certainly, it’s an issue we were discussing 20 years ago around synthetic hydraulic options for the Tornado, so it’s not something new.

The article written by Susan van Dyk gives an excellent overview of the technological, logistical, operational and regulatory position on SAF and is well worth a read for anyone interested in the topic.

SAF must have aromatics, reactive molecules that infiltrate the seal elastomeric material to promote seal swelling. A lack of aromatics results in seal shrinkage which can lead to fuel leakage and seal failures with certain types of seals that exist in older legacy engine products.

According to Csonka, there are currently more than 25,000 ‘legacy’ aircraft in use over the world, and widespread use of unblended paraffinic SAF at every airport will require modification of most of these aircraft and engines.

To date all 100% SAF test flights have been conducted on aircraft modified to have all seals replaced to ensure no leakage. But centrally those in the industry who are driving the issue are keen to have a single certified fuel globally.

In order to achieve the climate benefits of zero or low aromatics, said Csonka, researchers are exploring the possibility of using alternative compounds such as cycloparaffins or other synthetic aromatics to serve the same purpose as aromatics. #[innovation]​

Read more here:

Sustainable aviation fuels are not all the same and regular commercial use of 100% SAF is more complex

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As has so long been the issue, much of the problem boils down to synthetics causing seal shrinkage – certainly, it’s an issue we were discussing 20 years ago around synthetic hydraulic options for the Tornado, so it’s not something new.

The article written by Susan van Dyk gives an excellent overview of the technological, logistical, operational and regulatory position on SAF and is well worth a read for anyone interested in the topic.

SAF must have aromatics, reactive molecules that infiltrate the seal elastomeric material to promote seal swelling. A lack of aromatics results in seal shrinkage which can lead to fuel leakage and seal failures with certain types of seals that exist in older legacy engine products.

According to Csonka, there are currently more than 25,000 ‘legacy’ aircraft in use over the world, and widespread use of unblended paraffinic SAF at every airport will require modification of most of these aircraft and engines.

To date all 100% SAF test flights have been conducted on aircraft modified to have all seals replaced to ensure no leakage. But centrally those in the industry who are driving the issue are keen to have a single certified fuel globally.

In order to achieve the climate benefits of zero or low aromatics, said Csonka, researchers are exploring the possibility of using alternative compounds such as cycloparaffins or other synthetic aromatics to serve the same purpose as aromatics. #[innovation]​

Read more here:

Sustainable aviation fuels are not all the same and regular commercial use of 100% SAF is more complex