South Yorkshire to lead UK R&D for sustainable aviation fuels | News

The University of Sheffield’s new Sustainable Aviation Fuels Innovation Center (SAF-IC) has reached a key milestone in its construction

  • The University of Sheffield’s new Sustainable Aviation Fuels Innovation Center (SAF-IC) has reached a key milestone in its construction
  • Facility is set to give the UK much-needed testing capabilities to help producers of sustainable aviation fuels bring their products to market
  • SAF-IC will establish South Yorkshire as the UK’s leading place for R&D in sustainable aviation
  • The center is out of operation in the summer of 2023

A major new research center that will help test, certify and deploy new sustainable aviation fuels – the first of its kind in the UK – has reached a key milestone in its construction.

The Sustainable Aviation Fuels Innovation Center (SAF-IC), part of the University of Sheffield Energy Institute, is set to give the UK much-needed testing capabilities to help producers of sustainable aviation fuels bring their fuels to the market.

Located in the University of Sheffield Innovation District, home to the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Center (AMRC) – a huge blueprint for university and industry R&D on the border of Sheffield and Rotherham – the new center will establish South Yorkshire as the UK’s leading place for R&D in sustainable aviation fuels.

TERC – a national pilot-scale testing facility that is also part of the University of Sheffield – to support state-of-the-art research and provide much-needed testing capabilities to help prepare sustainable aviation fuels for commercial use.

Together with TERC, SAF-IC will be the first in the UK to be able to capture CO₂, produce green hydrogen, convert them into sustainable aviation fuels and analyze their performance all in one single location.

The center will help to bridge the gap in bringing new sustainable aviation fuels to market. It can help to accelerate regulatory approvals of new fuels and aid in their deployment.

Jointly funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the University of Sheffield, construction of the center has now completed, and the installation equipment will begin now. Development of the facility within the facility is still ongoing, with the center scheduled to open in summer 2023.

Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Managing Director of the Sheffield Energy Institute, said: “It is wonderful to see the progress of the construction of the Sustainable Aviation Fuels Innovation Center, which, in part, to our contractors, Hobson and Porter.

“The building includes some bespoke and highly technical elements, such as the APU acoustic test cell and a high-pressure high temperature combustion test cell. SAF-IC has been built with specialized elements to enable hydrogen, zero carbon fuels and advanced combustion research, all of which will help us carry out vital testing.

“Our SAF Characterization Laboratory will provide fast, cost effective and unique capabilities for testing new fuels, with a GC-GC-ToF-MS, and ICP -YES. Now we will start the exciting process of installing cutting-edge equipment that will help make the UK’s aviation industry unique and vital. ”

Sustainable aviation fuels are vital to reducing the UK’s carbon emissions. The UK aviation industry is responsible for around seven per cent of total UK carbon emissions, and this number is growing fast. However, aviation’s reliance on fossil fuels makes it a challenging sector to decarbonise.

Although it is widely expected that these technologies will be in use in the future, it is widely available that the fossil fuels are used for the industry. The UK could reduce UK emissions in 2050 by 32 per cent.

The UK government considers the importance of sustainable aviation by including ambitions for ‘jet zero’ in its Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution.

However, any new aviation fuel must be introduced to the market. Technology and chemical processes to produce sustainable aviation fuels currently exist, but many producers, especially SMEs, require support to scale up production and systematically test their fuel. SAF-IC will provide you with the necessary expertise to carry out the work of the spacecraft, and will provide the necessary expertise to carry out the operation of a new fuel system.

The SMEs in South Yorkshire will have major investment in supporting locally based and internationally aviation industry partners.

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