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Greener aircraft engines

The sustainability of air travel can be improved by reducing the emission of greenhouse gases from aero-engines.
Greener aircraft engines
European companies have come together to develop a low emissions combustion system for aircraft engines. This was achieved by bringing together key engine manufacturers and research establishments. The result could be a dramatic reduction in emissions of nitric oxides (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), together known as nitrogen oxides (NOx) and carbon dioxide (CO2).

Partners from the EU-funded project 'European Low Emission Combustion Technology in Aero-Engines' (Elect-AE) based their research on advanced low NOx technology. The aim was to develop a more efficient combustor, the part of an aero-engine where air and fuel are first mixed and then ignited.

Combustors determine many of the engine's operating characteristics, including fuel efficiency and emission levels. Researchers concluded that improving the combustion process is critical to reducing the levels of NOx produced by the engines.

The Elect-AE initiative was part of a wider programme to integrate the EU’s research efforts in the fields of Aeronautics and Space. The project intended to contribute to the competitiveness of European jet engine manufacturers while helping to reduce the environmental impact of civil aviation. Such achievements can bring about great economic and environmental benefits.

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