Rolls-Royce has taken a significant step towards meeting its net-zero goals with the approval by Power Systems of its Series 4000 and Series 1600 diesel engines for use with a range of EN15940-certified synthetic diesel fuels.
Following successful testing, both types of engines can use a range of sustainable fuels including biomass to liquid (BtL), hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) and power to liquid (PtL) fuels such as e-diesel. They can all be used to replace conventional diesel fuel.
“There is already a lot of interest in HVO in particular from many customers in the energy industry and data center business, who want to improve their carbon footprint,” explained Tobias Ostermaier, president of the stationary power solutions business unit at Rolls-Royce Power Systems.
“The results from pilot customers show a significant reduction in greenhouse gases, nitrogen oxide and particulate emissions by using HVO instead of fossil diesel in their gensets.”
Waste vegetable and animal fats, and used cooking oils, can be used as base materials for HVO.
They are converted into hydrocarbons by means of a catalytic reaction with the addition of hydrogen. Through this process, the fats and vegetable oils can supplement diesel as an admixture or replace it completely.
The advantages of HVO are cleaner combustion with a reduction in particulate emissions of up to 80%, nitrogen oxide emissions by an average of 8% and – provided the manufacturing process and logistics make use of renewable energy – CO2 emissions by up to 90% compared to traditional diesel. Because HVO fuel is produced from renewable raw materials, its production, transport, and combustion generate only about as many greenhouse gases as were absorbed by the plants during the growth of the biomass.
The tests confirmed that mtu engines using HVO perform equally as well as engines using diesel in terms of maximum power, load acceptance and fuel consumption. HVO is a drop-in fuel, which means that there are no adaptions needed to the diesel plant infrastructure, hardware or software in order for it to be used. In addition, the storage stability of this synthetic fuel is significantly better than that of biodiesel, making it even more attractive to operators of emergency power systems.
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