Cummins approves renewable diesel in Europe; testing nearly done in North America

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Cummins approved renewable diesel for use in engines it sells in Europe, including the ISB6.7 shown above.Cummins approved renewable diesel for use in engines it sells in Europe, including the ISB6.7 shown above.

Cummins reports that it may soon be approving renewable diesel for use in its engines in North America following its recent approval of the fuel for the European market.

During the IAA Commercial Vehicles show last week in Germany, Cummins announced that it approved renewable diesel, or synthetic diesel as it’s sometimes called, for its Euro 6 diesel engines, which includes the ISB6.7.

Cummins also announced that it is close to finishing a renewable diesel test program developed for its North American market, according to School Transportation News.

“HVO diesel and other Paraffinic fuels offer a useful low carbon alternative fuel for transport and have now reached a point of commercial maturity and standardization at which Cummins is pleased to confirm compatibility with our current Euro 6 engine lineup,” said Ashley Watton, director of On-Highway Europe for Cummins.

Renewable diesel’s low emissions, high cetane values and compatibility with existing diesel infrastructure have attracted major fleets, including UPS, the State of California and the City of Oakland, Calif.

Renewable diesel is not biodiesel. The two fuels are derived from some of the same plant and animal fat sources, but it’s how those feedstocks are processed that makes all the difference.

Biodiesel is processed through transesterification, a chemical reaction that occurs usually through the introduction of an acid or base substance which renders the biomass liquid into an oxygenated, combustible fuel.

Neste, the world’s largest producer of renewable diesel, uses a patented hydrogenolysis process to transform that same biomass liquid into fuel. It’s also known as hydrotreating in the petroleum industry.

Neste said its fuel can achieve up to a 90 percent reduction of greenhouse gases based on the California Air Resources Board’s Carbon Index.

Propel Fuels, a renewable diesel retailer with stations mostly in California, reports on its website that the alt fuel reduces NOx emissions by 14 percent, particulate matter by 34 percent and carbon monoxide by 13 percent when compared to petroleum diesel. Propel’s renewable diesel is supplied by Neste.