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Continental testing sustainable CD-100 engine option

Continental, a subsidiary of Continental Aerospace Technologies Holding Ltd, has confirmed that it is finalising testing of Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) as a sustainable fuel option in its CD-100 series of engines. This research and development investment signifies Continental’s commitment to fostering a more sustainable general aviation industry aimed at reducing carbon emissions and promoting environmental stewardship.

HVO is a renewable fuel alternative. This biofuel is produced from vegetable oils, using hydrogen as a instead of methanol. In addition to vegetable oils, the new fuel can be produced from tallow and used cooking oil. By approving HVO for use in CD-100 engines, Continental enables aircraft owners and operators to significantly reduce their carbon footprint without compromising their engine’s performance.

HVO emits slightly less carbon dioxide in the burning than petroleum diesel does—as much as 15 percent. But its total lifecycle emissions are 50 to 90 percent less than petroleum diesel because the fuel is returning to the atmosphere carbon already absorbed during the plant growth cycle.

“Hydrotreated vegetable oil is one of many sustainable alternative fuels. While the industry continues to work through a wide variety of diverse, sustainable options on their path to reach decarbonisation, Continental is proud to take this incremental testing step to potentially bring a cleaner fuel to our CD-100 Jet-A owners,” said Dr David Dörner, vice president of global research and development at Continental. “Our extensive analysis has thus far demonstrated results that confirm our 4-cylinder Jet-A engines exhibit seamless performance equal to traditional Jet-A fuel.”

HVO production is growing, but its market share is small. HVO and biodiesel are similar, but HVO is less carbon intensive because it contains no petroleum constituents. Biodiesel is called R-99 or green diesel because by federal law in the US, it must contain 1 percent petroleum-derived diesel.

According to Avweb, the US is the largest producer of true HVO, but the market remains underdeveloped in the US. R-99 biodiesel accounts for about 2.3 billion gallons of 68 billion gallons produced. Biodiesel is currently between 70-130 percent more expensive than fossil diesel.

Image accredited to Continental Aerospace Technologies

Author: FTN Editor

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