DB Cargo UK has completed a test of hydro-treated vegetable oil as fuel for a Class 66 Locomotive.
The Electro-Motive Diesel Class 66 (66150) was used to haul a load of steel rails from British Steel’s site in Scunthorpe down to Network Rail’s depot at Eastleigh in Hampshire in December.
Known as HVO – Hydro-treated Vegetable Oil – is marketed as “one of the world’s purest and greenest fuels”.
Synthetically made through the hydro-treatment process from vegetable oils or animal fats HVO significantly reduces harmful carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions.
Replacing conventional red diesel oil with 100% renewable fuels could cut a trains carbon emissions by as much as 90%.
DB Cargo UK’s Head of Sales Roger Neary said: “Rail freight is already a much greener alternative to road haulage, so to reduce our carbon footprint even further will, I hope, make businesses re-evaluate their own transport strategies. If they want to reduce their own carbon emissions, then rail freight is the obvious choice over road.”