New Jet Engine Slashes Fuel Consumption, Lowers Emissions

Pratt & Whitney has been working on a new generation of jet engines for commercial airplanes for over 20 years. Today, those efforts have paid off with the creation of new class of jet engines that can reduce fuel consumption by 16%. Less fuel burned means fewer emissions in our skies. Pratt & Whitney says its new PurePower® Geared Turbofan™ engine will reduce annual carbon emissions by 3,600 metric tons per airplane. It is also 70% quieter.

Jet engine lowers emissions

Is that a big deal? Pratt & Whitney says yes. If you do the math, there are 87,000 commercial flight a day in the US alone. That adds up to millions of flights a year. Those 3,600 metric tons saved per plane are equivalent to taking 766 cars off the road for a year. Put in other terms, its the same as if  279,574 cars were not driven for an entire day.

It’s also equivalent to 4.6 million households not using any electricity for a day. That is the same as if everyone who lives in New York City, (3 million households) Los Angeles (1.3 million households), and Las Vegas (213,000 households) used no electricity whatsoever for 24 hours. Multiply that by every plane in the skies every day worldwide and the results are a staggering reduction in emissions from air travel.

The new engine features an uncharacteristically high bypass ratio of 12:1. The ratio indicates that twelve times as much air flows around the core of the engine as passes through it. The higher the bypass ratio, the more fuel efficient the engine. Pratt & Whitney Engineer Monica Dujic explains, “There is a future in aviation that can help the environment … and the people around you.”

Someday, we may travel in airplanes powered by electricity, but that day is at least a decade away if not more. In the meantime, reducing the amount of pollution from air travel is an important accomplishment for the health of the global environment.

Source: UpWorthy  Photo credit: Pratt & Whitney

Steve Hanley

Closely following the transition from internal combustion to electricity. Whether it's cars, trucks, ships, or airplanes, sustainability is the key. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.