Freightliner is carrying out operational trials of a new, cleaner, low-carbon fuel known as “Gd45 powered by Shell GTL” as part of its ongoing commitment to clean air and carbon reduction.
Green Biofuels Ltd (GBF), which is the UK’s leading provider of Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (HVO), and Shell developed the new fuel.
It is designed to tackle GHG (greenhouse gases) and particulate emissions in the rail and road freight industry and comprises 55% Shell GTL (gas to liquids) fuel and 45% Gd+ HVO.
Freightliner has carried out extensive trials of the fuel on some of its services over recent months in partnership with GBF and Shell.
Data collected from the trials show a significant reduction in emissions from diesel engines when compared with regular diesel. The trials showed an 84% reduction in methane, 14% nitrous oxide (NOx), and 18% ultra-fine particulates, but there was no impact on performance or loss of horsepower.
The substantial reduction in carbon and improvements in air quality show that the fuel should play an important role on the path to achieving net-zero by 2050. By using the fuel for its diesel services, Freightliner would achieve a 50% reduction in CO2e emissions, which is equivalent to 91,740mt every year.
Magnus Hammick, Chief Operating Officer at GBF, comments: “GBF has been delighted to be fully engaged with the Freightliner team to show the emperical benefits of advanced fuels. The current energy crisis shows both the resilience of industry to innovate other ways to hit their net-zero goals, and the value of drop in alternative fuels on the road to decarbonising rail. We’re happy to see great strides have been made, but the recent hikes in energy prices and the fact the UK National Grid is still in the process of cutting its emissions, shows that we still have a way to travel to achieve these long-term goals. The rail networks deliver the lowest carbon solution for bulk freight movement when running on Gd45 powered by Shell GTL Fuel.
“Gd45 Powered by Shell GTL Fuel is a bridging technology that supports the emissions reductions of legacy fleets in the interim period between now and net-zero. It’s a way to make an immediate difference today.”
Tim Shakerley, Managing Director, Rail at Freightliner, comments: “With COP 26 focusing global attention on the importance of climate change, Freightliner is committed to and at the forefront of a number of energy saving initiatives aimed at reducing their carbon footprint even further.
“Rail is already the most carbon-efficient mode for transporting freight around Great Britain, and growing volumes using alternative fuels will be crucial to support the decarbonisation of the UK economy.
“The journey to net-zero 2050 will require a range of different technologies and fuels, and we are delighted to have supported the development of this transitional fuel. The emissions reductions are exceptional, with average reduced CO2e emissions of 43%, a reduction in NOx of 14% and 18% fewer ultra fine particulates compared to conventional diesel, demonstrating the strong carbon and air quality benefits of this fuel.
“Working closely with GBF and Shell, the trials show that this fuel offers significant environmental gains, with no performance impact or loss of horsepower. We are delighted that Freightliner will continue operational trials of the Gd45 Powered by Shell GTL Fuel across a number of our services.”
Renee Power at Shell, GM – Global GTL Market Development, comments: “Working closely with GBF, we have developed Gd45Powered by Shell GTL Fuel, a lower carbon, cleaner fuel to help the hard to abate sectors like the rail and road freight industry, take the first step on their decarbonisation journey today.”