ECATS at TAC4 – Future alternative fuels strategy

The Alternative Fuels work package were recently represented by Sigrun Matthes at the 4th International Conference on Transport, Atmosphere and Climate (TAC4) at Bad Kohlgrub, Germany. A link to the presentation given at the conference is provided here ECATS_ITN_TAC4_2015_Christie_Matthes_final.

he aviation community in Europe aspires to develop an economic future that is sustainable in terms of fuel supply and with regards to climate impact. Sustainable alternative fuel pathways have begun to emerge as a promising option to augment and diversify fuel supplies whilst simultaneously reducing its environmental impact and emissions. It is this vision that is set out within the Biofuel Flightpath 2020 and EU aviation policy [1]. Research in this domain involves several different specialisms from fuel composition, chemical kinetics, combustion and propulsion, through to atmospheric chemistry and climate research. As a consequence, research is often disconnected across Europe and an integrated overview on how to best develop alternative fuels in aviation is often missing.

In this contribution we discuss a structure to traverse this gap: As a first objective we present a synopsis of state-of-the-art research covering key disciplines crucial for advancing the use of alternative fuels in aviation. As a second objective we present key open questions, and sketch pathways on how to overcome these challenges and advance research in this domain. In this context we introduce the idea of a network whose strengths reside in the breadth of competences from which it draws, supported by durable commercial involvement from across Europe, and cutting edge information exchange on new approaches, latest methods and recent findings in this emerging field. Concepts are introduced on how to best balance individual project requirements with cross cutting activities to preclude disconnected research definitions and promote integrated and efficient knowledge transfer. The presentation will discuss identified research needs, visions for prospective research, and some of the strategic issues to be addressed in designing sustainable alternative fuel pathways into the future

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DG Research/Aeronautics