Biogas – Freightliner secures government funding for dual fuel project


The project will explore the possibility of replacing diesel with hydrogen and biogas on the Class-66 locomotive which carries over 80% of freight on the UK rail network and in doing so reduce carbon emissions on the one of the two toughest in the industry. locomotives running.

This will be achieved by modernizing class 66 with The power of clean air precision injection technology, creating a class 66 that can run on a combination of diesel, biogas and hydrogen.

Technology is one of 30 winners in the final round of the First of a Kind (FOAK) competition announced by the Secretary of Transportation. Already the safest and most environmentally friendly mode of land freight transport, the competition aimed to make railways even cleaner, greener and more passenger-friendly.

This is the first time that this technology, widely used in the road industry, will be applied to the rail freight sector on such an important and widely used class of locomotive. The work will begin on July 1 and will take place over a period of nine months.

The main partners in the project are Freightliner, which operates more than 113 Class-66s in the UK, and Clean Air Power, providers of innovative clean air solutions for freight. The project is also supported by Network Rail, Tarmac, Rail Safety Standards Board (RSSB), Flogas, Carrickarory and the University of Birmingham.

This sustainable solution will support a program to decarbonize the diesel fleets of freight operating companies in a cost-effective manner that does not require large short-term investments and facilitates operational learning in support of a longer term fleet replacement, potentially using 100% hydrogen. fuel.

Exhaust gas emissions will be assessed in accordance with the latest RSSB guidelines to understand both the baseline conditions and the impact of dual fuel for hydrogen and biogas. Emissions and surrogate data is a key result of this project and will be made available to the RSSB. All locomotive work, static testing and emission data collection will be carried out at Freightliner’s vehicle maintenance facilities in Leeds, with support from Carrickarory Consultancy and in consultation with RSSB.

“Freightliner is delighted to be a key partner in this pioneering decarbonization project,” said Tim Shakerley, Managing Director of Freightliner UK Rail. “As the largest electric traction freight operator, we already have a number of environmental initiatives underway and we are delighted to be working with Clean Air Power and other partners on this additional government funded project. With decarbonization a priority, these initiatives will further support the government’s commitment to achieve zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Dan Skelton, Managing Director of Clean Air Power, said: “We are delighted to be working with Freightliner and other partners on this project. All parties are focused on delivering a low carbon, low emissions, hydrogen friendly Class 66 locomotive.

“Our solution offers a path to sustainable, long-term decarbonisation and its cost benefits, which will be practical to implement and scale. With the know-how and expertise that we share, we look forward to this new and exciting initiative which will make a real difference.


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