MTU Maintenance Tests Aramco CFM56 Engine With SAF

MTU and Aramco executives at a ceremony for the 9,000th CFM56-7B engine delivery in summer 2021.

Credit: MTU Maintenance

MTU Maintenance recently carried out an acceptance test on a CFM56-7B engine owned by oil and gas producer Saudi Aramco using an almost 40% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) blend.
The test was carried out at the German MRO provider’s test cell in Hannover with the aim of lowering CFM56 acceptance testing CO2 emissions by approximately 3.8 tonnes.

MTU says it is the first MRO provider in the world to offer acceptance testing using SAF, which is a fuel refined from high-oil-content residues and waste products. Throughout its life cycle, the blend emits eighty percent less CO2 per gallon than kerosene, according to MTU.

Before the latest test, the company says that fuel blends used for this purpose had never surpassed 10% SAF content. The regulatory limit is currently at 50% SAF blend.

Prior to partnering for the test, Aramco, a state-owned petroleum and natural gas company, has worked with MTU Maintenance on CFM56 engine MRO since 2004. The partnership has also previously focused on CF34-8E maintenance before the engine was phased out.

“We have made SAF an essential component in our effort to cut emissions drastically,” says Michael Schreyögg, MTU Aero Engines’ chief program officer. “MTU is committed to meeting the Paris Agreement’s objectives. That’s why we’ve pledged to make our German operations net zero and why we are supporting our clients in their initiatives to combat climate change across the globe.”

Earlier this year, MTU partnered with U.S. carrier JetBlue on a project aimed at testing and gathering data on the use of SAF for the airline’s V2500 engine fleet. Initially, MTU performed test runs with a 10% SAF blend from its Hannover facility.

James Pozzi

As Aviation Week's MRO Editor EMEA, James Pozzi covers the latest industry news from the European region and beyond. He also writes in-depth features on the commercial aftermarket for Inside MRO.