Clean Sky for a Green Planet
March 28, 2019
As a driving force behind the development of the modern world, aviation moves fast. Very fast. Afterall it’s the fastest, most convenient way to travel. A constantly ON network of airlines and airports link places and people 24 hours a day. That’s why, year-after-year, demand in the aviation industry is growing requiring more flights, and more planes with more seats. Current exceptional circumstances apart, this expansion is set to continue.
Destination Zero Emissions
Growth in the aviation industry is good. It facilitates business, brings us together, and allows us all to experience more of the world than ever before. However, as flights increase, so does the environmental footprint. Although aviation is responsible for only 2-2.5% of annual C02 emissions, it is committed to continuous improvement with a final goal of achieving zero emissions. That’s why the next generation of ultra-efficient low-carbon aircraft not only meet but exceed current emissions legislation.
Blue Sky Thinking
Focused on ultimately reaching climate neutrality, the aviation industry introduced a formalised strategy that represents an integrated approach between the economic and environmental pillars of sustainability. Agreed twelve years ago, the Clean Sky Project (CSP) is a public-private partnership (PPP) between the European Commission and European Aeronautics Industry. The CSP was an ambitious program set to reduce aviation’s environmental impact whilst meeting increasing commercial demand and with €4bn allocated to the initiative, it had not only the framework but also the financial investment required to achieve its goals.
Following the initial CSP success, and determined to achieve even more, Clean Sky 2 (CS2) was launched in 2014 and aims even higher than the first initiative. Formed as a partnership between subject matter experts, regulatory bodies and research centers, utilizing cutting-edge science to provide environmentally sustainable air transport, the program is committed to reducing fuel and CO2 by 75% per passenger km, Nitrogen Oxide by 90%, and perceived noise by 65% by 2035.
Together We Go Further
Since 1946, when Dr. Pall our founder made his first filter working on the Manhattan Project, Pall Aerospace technologies have helped shape the aviation industry.
Decades of experience with virtually every aerospace and defense program that requires fluid filtration and separation and our expertise in protecting every critical piece of fluid equipment on an aircraft, helped qualify us as a core partner in the CS2 program. Presently Pall is applying its resources and knowledge to three core areas, Cabin Air Recirculation Filters, Environmental Control Systems (ECS) and Aircraft Engine Inlet Protection.
Participating in CS2 as a core partner offers us the opportunity to support future technological advancement and continue to help shape the aviation industry.
Cabin Air Re-circulation
Current commercial aircraft use true High Efficiency Particulate Arrestance (HEPA) filters to deliver the best quality of air onboard aircraft whilst improving fuel economy by recycling air. Airlines can now choose to use state-of-the-art Advanced Cabin Air Filters (ACAF), which combine HEPA filtration with HPAC (High Performance Activated Carbon), further increasing air purity and efficiency.
However, despite the latter’s overall efficiency of 99.97% and a virus and bacteria removal rate of 99.993%, Pall is already working on the next generation of filters. These will combine the previous two technologies with more innovative solutions, such as BREEZE (HyBRid photocatalyitic air filtEr for rEmoving pollutants and odours from aircraft cabin ZonE) filters; a filtration solution that will ensure an even more effective odor removal performance throughout the life of the aircraft by using photocatalysts and ultraviolet light.
This technology also brings the additional benefits of antibacterial and antiviral functions to the high efficiency of HEPA filter for added passenger comfort. Once these are fitted as standard, air travel will be safer for passengers and the planet.
Adaptive Environmental Control System Filtration
Pall is also working on a filtration solution for an Adaptive Environmental Control System (AECS). This innovative system will continually monitor the air quality in the cabin and adjust the fresh air flow accordingly to ensure a constant source of clean air whilst optimising fuel economy.
Currently an aircraft will use 5% of all fuel to power the ECS, but the new system will reduce this to just 3% by allowing a 40% reduction in the amount of bleed air required to pressurise the cabin at certain times of the flight. Once available, a transatlantic flight fuel burn could be reduced by up to 2,000kg. Given that fuel constitutes 25-30% of total industry expenses, if all planes were fitted with AECS the economic and environmental impact would be dramatic.
Some of the new filtration technology that Pall Aerospace has developed within this project has already made its way into production filters for other aircraft bringing the advantages of HEPA filtration where it was not possible previously.
TRIcEPS ‘Tilt Rotor Integrated Air Intake and Engine Protection Systems’ aims at developing an integrated engine air intake and protection solution for Tilt Rotor by designing, manufacturing, testing and qualifying air intakes and their integrated engine protection systems for proof of concept on the Pall proposed filtration technology.
Utilising the Pall experience and pedigree in Vortex Systems, the proposed solution aims at increasing safety, minimising maintenance, enabling operation in harsher environments, and expediting Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) flight certification, while complying with all CS2’s goals. TRIcEPS integrates two innovations. Firstly, a removable thermoelectric ice protection system, based on heater layer technology, significantly reduced icing, which can be used on the wings of regional aircraft as well as rotors. Secondly, a vortex tube filter protecting the engine from particles in harsh environments, which despite providing 1-2% lower particle separation efficiency, enables full self-cleaning capabilities, facilitating a fit and forget approach, and maintains a stable pressure drop during brownout operations, negating emergency bypass actuation that exposes the engine. The air intake will also be equipped with a bypass for operation in clean flow conditions and a compressor washing system.
The successful completion of the TRIcEPS technical demonstrator will have a positive environmental impact by ensuring engine protection in tough environments, allowing aircraft to fly more direct and land closer to the end destination not dependent or being limited by previously considered optimal landing sites.
Clear Skies Ahead
Aviation epitomises modern life. It facilitates it. A world without air travel is unimaginable today but the future of our planet depends on how well we meet present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs. Ambitious initiatives like the Clean Sky Project demonstrate that the aerospace industry perceives making air travel more sustainable and minimising environmental impact not only as a challenge driven by need but also as a responsibility. CS2 is set to build on the CSP goals and vision of a greener future with a robust framework and network of SMEs; a network and a future that Pall Aerospace is proud to be a part of and invest in for a lasting positive impact.