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Significant CO2 and NOx reductions targeted through ultra-high pressure ratio core engine technology development

The new European technology programme LEMCOTEC (Low Emissions Core Engine Technologies) held its first workshop in Potsdam, Germany, on 24th/25th October 2011. The programme is led by Rolls-Royce Deutschland and was officially launched on 1st October 2011.

This new research project, which is being co-funded by the EU under its 7th Framework Programme, commands an overall budget of 68.5 million Euros and will run for four years. LEMCOTEC aims to reduce CO2 emissions by at least 20% with a potential reduction of up to 30% as well as NOx emissions by at least 65% with a potential reduction of up to 70% on the engine level, compared to technology and standards from the year 2000, through improvements of the engine architecture.

By driving towards these goals LEMCOTEC will play a key role in attaining and exceeding the engine contributions to the aims set out in the ACARE 2020 (Advisory Council for Aeronautical Research in Europe) strategic research agenda. Besides Rolls-Royce Deutschland, there are 35 different European partners involved in the project, including SNECMA, MTU Aero Engines, Rolls-Royce plc, Volvo Aero, ITP, Avio, Turbomeca, the German and French national aerospace research centres, DLR and ONERA, and leading European universities in the field.

These partners are working together to develop new compressor technologies to achieve ultra-high overall pressure ratios of up to 70:1 (significantly higher than aero engines in service today), improving the combustor and developing new engine tructures to cope with significantly increased pressures.

The approach is to validate the potentials of the new technologies and bring them to maturity ready for introduction into new engine demonstrator projects. Dr. Ralf von der Bank, Coordinator of the LEMCOTEC Research Programme, said: "Increasing the thermal efficiency by increasing the overall pressure ratio of the aero engine up to 70:1 is technically a very ambitious way to reduce CO2 and NOx emissions. LEMCOTEC will be a key element for the aviation industry to attain and perhaps exceed the environmental targets set in the ACARE vision for 2020."

LEMCOTEC continues the efforts of the NEWAC (core engine up to overall pressure ratios of 50:1 without intercoolers) and DREAM (ultra-high bypass ratios with open rotor engines) programmes. It also complements and interacts with the SAGE programmes set up in the Joint Technology Initiative CLEAN SKY. LEMCOTEC aims to provide the European aero engine industry with a complete inventory of available andmeaningful technologies to use in the development of future engines.

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