Union Pacific to Increase its Biodiesel Fuel Blend Ratio - Smart Energy Decisions

Sourcing Renewables  -  August 20, 2021

Union Pacific to Increase its Biodiesel Fuel Blend Ratio

Union Pacific announced Aug. 19 that it has been approved to increase its use of biodiesel fuel in its locomotives to up to a 20% blend, an increase from the previous operating limit of 5%.

Progress Rail granted the railway line the use of a 20% biodiesel blend in specific EMD locomotive series. The new fuel recommendations followed a series of tests around high-horsepower locomotives in long-distance freight hauling journeys. 

“Union Pacific is dedicated to reducing its carbon footprint, and this is another step toward achieving our long-term goal to reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 26% by 2030,” Beth Whited, Union Pacific executive vice president and chief human resource officer, said in a statement. “We continue to identify opportunities to increase low carbon fuel usage in our locomotives and appreciate Progress Rail's partnership in our efforts.”

Progress Rail is now undergoing additional testing and development around fuel consumption and the impact of biodiesel on engine oil and fuel filters. It is estimated that moving freight by rail instead of truck reducing emissions by up to 75%.

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