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Manufacturing processes and alternative aviation fuels, topics of the new CIMNE projects funded by the H2020

Published: 09/05/2019

CIMNE has been awarded two new H2020 projects: KYKLOS 4.0 and ALTERNATE.

The project entitled KYKLOS 4.0, framed in the call “H2020-DT-2018-2020: Digitisation and transformation: Digitising and transforming European industry and services: digital innovation hubs and platforms”, consists of developing an Advanced Circular and Agile Manufacturing Ecosystem based on rapid reconfigurable manufacturing process and individualized consumer preferences.

manufacturing

Prof. Michele Chiumenti, leader of the Industrial Processes Group of CIMNE, will be the principal investigator of CIMNE in this project that will be coordinated by TECNALIA.

KYKLOS 4.0 will demonstrate, in a realistic, measurable, and replicable way the transformative effects that Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS), Product Cycle Management (PLM), Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Augmented Reality (AR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies and methodologies will have to the Circular Manufacturing (CM) Framework.

A unique characteristic of KYKLOS 4.0 is that all CM related technologies, sectors and stakeholders together with their relevant expertise are covered. Bringing together knowledge and solutions of major European CPS, PLM, LCA and AI technology providers together with the competence and experience of key European industry players in the CM domain, KYKLOS 4.0 will demonstrate a measurable increase of KYKLOS 4.0 Ecosystem penetration in CM market. The project is also focuses on minimizing environmental impact due to the reduction in the use of fossil fuels and raw materials and has an impact in seven pilot domains, which cover areas of major importance for the CM sector in Europe.

ALTERNATE is the other new European project where CIMNE will participate. It is included in the call "H2020-MG-2018-2019-2020 (2019): Mobility for Growth" and will be coordinated by the Technical University of Madrid (UPM). The project consists of the assessment on alternative aviation fuels development. Jordi Pons i Prats, leader of the Aerospace Engineering Group of CIMNE, will the Principal Investigator of the centre in this project.

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It is widely accepted that the use of sustainable fuels, with a Life-cycle carbon footprint substantially smaller than the present fossil-origin kerosene, is the most promising and probably the only short-medium term measure that allows the aviation industry to reduce its emissions, helping to reach 2015 Paris Agreement targets.

During the last 10 years, many tests have been done with different drop-in organic products with a high level of success. Present commercial aircraft engines are certified for using a mix of up to 50% of some of these new products. Further research is being done on the convenience of developing new feedstocks and on their potential climate change impact. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is now discussing the best way to standardise the Life-cycle Analysis (LCA) of the most readily available products and what is the best certification procedures. This process is needed in order to apply CORSIA (Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation), approved in October 2016, intending to stabilize international aviation carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions at 2020 levels. However, none of those new organic-origin fuels has proven to have the means to be produced in an economically competitive way compared to fossil kerosene.

It is generally accepted that some type of incentive mechanism needs to be implemented to make sustainable fuel attractive for the airlines in addition to the CORSIA and European Trading System provisions. ALTERNATE was born as the result of this Chinese and European cooperation proposal. Some possibilities appear for a wider aviation sustainable fuel utilisation, considering both technical and economic areas, including the possible use of more feedstocks and production pathways than the existing ones. New fuel candidates will be evaluated in this project according to improved modelling methods, considering LCA optimization, climate change effects and technical and economic consequences of their use.