The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced grants of more than $16m to 14 universities across the country to conduct research for minimising aviation emissions and noise.
This move is aimed at helping the country reach its aviation climate targets.
Selected universities are members of the Aviation Sustainability Center (ASCENT), which is part of the FAA’s Air Transportation Center of Excellence for Alternative Jet Fuels and Environment.
The US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said: “The awards we are making today will fund research at universities across the country for a more sustainable American aviation system.”
Universities will be involved in the wide range of projects such as sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), alternative jet fuel supply chains, electrification, noise reduction, noise exposure, hydrogen propulsion, engine technology, supersonic operations, and environmental measurement.
FAA awarded a total of 43 grants to the university research teams.
For evaluating regional alternative jet fuel supply chains and their potential for domestic fuel production as well as rural economic development, FAA awarded $769,136 to Washington State University, the University of Tennessee, and Pennsylvania State University.
It awarded $758,026 to Washington State University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology for identifying new methods and procedures to produce SAF with lower life cycle emissions and costs.
For testing novel fuel types to ensure they are safe for use and supporting efforts to approve 100% SAF use in existing aircraft, more than $2.3m was allotted to the University of Dayton, the University of Illinois, and Stanford University.
To measure combustion emission reductions from SAF, over $2m was given to Missouri University of Science & Technology.
Purdue University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology received a grant of $800,000 to assess environmental benefits to the climate from SAF.
In order to understand the challenges and opportunities associated with the hydrogen and battery-powered flight, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was awarded a grant of $460,000.
The Purdue University and Georgia Institute of Technology received funding of $750,000 to conduct research on fuel injector design and fuel pre-heating to cut down soot emissions from jet engines.
FAA granted $1.05m to the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to examine opportunities to reduce noise and emissions through aircraft and engine design.
Georgia Institute of Technology and Massachusetts Institute of Technology were selected to conduct analyses to help develop new, more stringent airworthiness standards.
Grants were also provided to develop new metrics to quantify nitrogen oxide emission during the entire aircraft mission, as well as to gauge the impacts of aviation emissions on air quality in communities.