The Anonymous Widower

Freightliner Continue Trials On New Low Carbon Fuel

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Rail Technology Magazine.

This is the first paragraph.

As part of their commitment to carbon reduction Freightliner will conduct operational trials of a new low carbon fuel supplied by Green Biofuels Ltd (GBF).

And this paragraph described the fuel.

GBF are the UK’s leading provider of Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (HVO) and the new fuel consists of 55% Shell GTL (gas to liquids) Fuel and 45% Gd+ HVO.

It does appear that hydrotreated vegetable oil or HVO, could be becoming an intermediate step on the route to decarbonisation, as I’ve posted about the fuel before in Powered By HVO.

The other promising route to decarbonisation must surely be that of producing fuel from waste, as pioneered by Velocys and others.

But they are only intermediate steps before hydrogen becomes the preferred zero-carbon fuel for rail freight services.

November 16, 2021 - Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , ,


  1. All HVO should go to places that cannot yet be electrified, e.g. airplanes.

    Comment by Roger Bedell | November 16, 2021 | Reply

    • I very much feel, that at best, it is only an intermediate step, whilst electrification is erected and/or zero-carbon electric or hydrogen trains and locomotives are built.

      But I do think in the UK, where we are not likely to be short of hydrogen, for some routes hydrogen will be a better bet than electrification.

      It’s a question of horses for courses.

      Comment by AnonW | November 16, 2021 | Reply

  2. I agree with you that we have a few stages to go through to get to a stable post fossil fuel solution that will permit autonomous vehicle movements. My best guess is that we will have around 10 – 15 years before the question of battery versus hydrogen has resolved itself sufficiently to identify which option is optimal for which mode of travel. It is still of some concern to me that sufficient amounts of hydrogen can be stored, especially on a British rail vehicle, in a gaseous form, particularly when the alternatives of metal hydrides with their weight penalty and liquid hydrogen which has to be stored at exceedingly low temperatures present so many unknowns.
    In the interim modified organic based fuels offer some breathing space.

    Comment by fammorris | November 16, 2021 | Reply

  3. I address the storage issue in this post.

    The Mathematics Of A Hydrogen-Powered Freight Locomotive

    There is a section called Storing Enough Hydrogen using data from Birmingham University.

    I estimate to carry the amount of energy in the diesel capacity of a Class 68 locomotive would need a 6m long x 2m diameter cylindrical tank.

    Comment by AnonW | November 16, 2021 | Reply

    • That’s great I’ve got data on available 350 and 700 bar hydrogen tanks so I can translate that into an actual example of what’s achievable presently. It’ll give me something to do 😏

      Comment by fammorris | November 16, 2021 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: