Biodiesel and Renewable Diesel in the North American Rail Industry

Written by Chevron Renewable Energy Group 
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The rail industry continues to advance lower carbon targets to help reduce lifecycle carbon emissions using bio-based diesel fuel solutions in locomotives.

Factors driving carbon emissions reduction initiatives for the rail industry There are several components causing the North American rail industry to plan and encourage the implementation of lower carbon targets at various levels, including:

  • The establishment of voluntary life cycle carbon emission reduction targets.
  • The urgent push of national, state and local regulatory agencies to put into effect carbon reduction by introducing policies.
  • The need for rail freight carbon reduction targets to be equal to, if not lower than, other modes of freight transportation — ensuring they are in the best position to serve the Scope 3 emissions needs for end customers.

Biodiesel, Renewable Diesel Becoming Mainstream in Rail Sector

To help meet these growing carbon emissions demands in the rail industry, biodiesel blended with conventional diesel at varying levels has become more commonplace. This has been a trend for nearly a decade due to its availability and ability to be immediately implemented with virtually any existing equipment and infrastructure, with little to no impact on operations.

Several key locomotive and engine manufacturers have already approved varying levels of biodiesel blends, and many OEMs approve the use of 100% renewable diesel (RD100) and blends of up to 20% biodiesel (B20) in their locomotive engines. As bio-based fuels see increased adoption, lower carbon producers such as Chevron have invested in increasing productivity to meet this need.

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