MTU’s climate strategy
MTU's climate strategy
“As a responsible engine manufacturer, MTU takes a proactive approach to dealing with economic, environmental and societal issues. As part of our climate strategy we implement improvements that will enable us to reduce the carbon footprint of aircraft engines and associated greenhouse-gas emissions. Our aim is to manufacture sustainable products that will help create a more eco-efficient aviation industry.”
Dr. Rainer Martens, MTU Aero Engines Chief Operating Officer
Through its climate strategy MTU aims to play an active role in efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of air transport. With the products it manufactures, the company is definitely on the right track, given that the major part of the CO2 emissions from aircraft engines is released during the service phase, a period that may span several decades. But MTU also intends to go a step further and take appropriate measures to improve the CO2 balance of engines as early as in the production phase.
The overall target is to develop and build eco-efficient engines that in the medium term will help ensure carbon-neutral air traffic growth and even reduce carbon dioxide emission levels in the long run. Assuming responsibility for climate protection is a core element of the MTU Principles. The company is fully committed to reducing emissions and making conscious use of resources, materials and energy. This applies to production processes and products alike.
Its climate strategy will give MTU a clear competitive edge in the market, because engines with lower carbon dioxide emissions also consume less fuel and thus reduce operating costs for the customer. Moreover, this strategy will help the company meet specified emission limits.
Binding climate protection targets
Sustainably sourced fuels constitute another important approach in efforts to reduce aviation-induced CO2 emissions. Compared to ground traffic, however, their use in aviation is heavily restricted: to factor in range, they must have a very high energy density, a low freezing point—temperatures of -50°C at cruising altitude are typical—and for safety reasons, a high flashpoint.
MTU actively promotes efforts to spread the use of biofuels, e.g. through Bauhaus Luftfahrt, field tests, or the Aviation Initiative for Renewable Energy in Germany (aireg e.V.). The latter was established by MTU along with airlines, manufacturers and research organizations to bring together all relevant activities and technical expertise in Germany. www.aireg.de/en/
Researchers are still at the beginning stages in their effort to develop an economical way to change aviation energy policy. Several second-generation biofuels have currently been approved for flight operations, so-called drop-in fuels having the same properties as conventional kerosene. They can be used in all aircraft and at all airports. Synthetic fuels represent a long-term alternative to biofuels.